As the Ministry of Health steps up efforts to prevent a Chikungunya outbreak on the island, a Licorish Village, My Lord’s Hill resident is crying out that he and other residents have been living a “mosquito nightmare” for years.
Hal Jones complained to Chief Environmental Health Officer Tyrone Applewhaite that residents were tired and frustrated with having to share their homes with mosquitoes which they believed were being bred in blocked drains that are filled with garbage.
Jones was speaking this morning as officers from the Ministry of Health conducted a walk-through disseminating information on the Chikungunya virus.
“We have been enduring this situation now for a little while and during the last elections some persons come down in here and say that them going to send somebody to help clean the gutter and up to now them ain’t send nobody to clean it.
“We have a big problem with mosquitoes down in here and at nights you does can’t really sleep.
“If you go in my house now you can’t stand up for two minutes before you don’t find about 15 mosquitoes around. In the day when I inside watching TV, I got to watch TV under a mosquito net. . . . People down in here have to protect themselves from mosquitoes, the children have to put on long pants all day. We need a little assistance. The guys around here try to help clean but when we clean now and ask for assistance to remove the stuff nobody don’t come to help move them. We need help,” Jones pleaded.
Meanwhile, Applewhaite explained: “In this area we have been getting a lot of domestic water getting into the storm water drains and obviously the wells have become fully blocked and the water is accumulating in some spots. You can see a lot of styrofoam containers and improper disposal of waste and as a result of this, these containers obviously catch water and then we can have the aedes aegypti mosquito breeding in here.”
According to the Chief Environmental Health Officer, some residents have been served with notices urging them to put the necessary arrangements in place to stop waste water from running from their homes and into the drainage.
He said it was imperative that his department worked along with the Drainage Unit and members of the community to get the situation, which has been going on for a long period, under control.
“The immediate thing here is that we would treat this system with chemicals to ensure that there is no existing mosquito breeding sites. And then we would continue to have meetings with members around here, as well as the Drainage Unit and Sanitation Service Authority. It is going to take a multisectoral approach to solve this effort,” said Applewhaite.