Letters to the Editor

Mosquito menace

Sunday, September 02, 2012    

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The Editor:

Your story in the Sunday Observer that the residents of Portmore will probably have to wait at least two years for any noticeable reduction in the swarms of mosquitoes plaguing the Municipality, is totally incorrect and misleading.

The facts are that over the past four months the Portmore Municipal Council has cleaned most of the major drains and there has been a marked decrease in mosquito infestation in most areas of the Municipality. At this very moment other drains are being cleaned and we are about to put in place an ongoing maintenance programme to ensure that

the mosquito problem is kept at

a minimum.

What is required, as was told to your reporter, is for the St Catherine Health Department to agree to our request to have our own team conduct fogging under their supervision, as was successfully done between 2004 and 2007, when the mosquito problems in Portmore were greatly reduced. For reasons unknown to us the St Catherine Health Department turned down our recent request.

We are at this moment successfully dealing with the swarms of mosquitoes in most of Portmore and, therefore, it is very incorrect and a disservice to the efforts of the Council for the article to refer to a two-year wait to deal

with mosquitoes.

We also requested the Health Department to approve and commence using the chemical Aquatain, as the present chemical used by the Department is only 18 to 30 per cent effective.

The reference to two years in my interview with your reporter was in respect of the time the National Water Commission said it would take to connect the defective sewage plants in the Municipality to the Soapberry facility.

This connection to the Soapberry facility would greatly alleviate the problem of raw sewage flowing into our drains causing the rapid growth of lilies and the consequent breeding of mosquitoes.

The new administration of the Municipality have not placed any reliance on the "ticky-ticky" fish to deal with the mosquito situation in Portmore because we were advised that they would not have survived given the acidity in our drains.

Our programme, which is working very well, is to clean and maintain the drains with the assistance of adequate fogging.

It was towards the end of the story, that mention was made of the drain cleaning being carried out. Your reporter failed to appreciate that the drain cleaning is the most effective way to alleviate the swarms of mosquitoes which he referred to and not the "ticky-ticky".

George Lee Mayor of Portmore






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