• Monday, Aug 26, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:01 am

Dhaka dwellers suffer from mosquito menace

  • Published at 02:34 am April 25th, 2019
A city corporation employee with a fogger spraying insecticide on the side of a city street
A city corporation employee with a fogger spraying insecticides to eliminate mosquitoes in Dhaka city Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

An official claims this is due to insufficient monitoring and uncoordinated initiatives by the authorities

As spring gets into full swing, mosquitoes are continuing their ruthless attack on Dhaka's inhabitants.

The weather is warming up; there is an occasional splash of rain. The ideal state for mosquito breeding is created within the ponds and sewers of the city this time of year.

The increased amount of mosquitoes has brought on much misery and despair among the people. The heightened risk of mosquito-borne illness is adding to the fright.

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) have both been working to control the mosquitoes' breeding but their actions are proving insufficient. 

Residents under the DNCC are seemingly suffering the most from the issue.

Amena Akter, a resident of Mirpur 11, said: “Recently the disturbance caused by mosquitoes has increased. It is very difficult to stay at home without mosquito coils and sprays. Moreover, I cannot use them all the time because they might harm my young children.”

Jahanara Begum, a resident of Shewrapara in Mirpur, said: “The mosquitoes do not even spare us during daytime.

I have to keep the ceiling fan switched on at all times to keep the mosquitoes away, as coils, aerosol, and electric bats do not provide relief for an extended period of time.”

Kawsar Ahmad, a resident of Basabo Kadamtala area said he has not seen any attempt to control mosquitoes in his area over the past few months.

“In the middle of last year, the DNCC authorities sprayed insecticide in this area regularly but the last 7-8 months I have not seen any fogger machine being used in this area,” he said.

“If the authorities had use insecticides and smoke to control mosquito breeding then it would never have increased this way,” he added.

Meanwhile, the southern regions of the DSCC areas are not free of the nuisance. Though the DSCC appointed individual supervisors in every ward to tackle the issue, due to irregular supervision, mosquito breeding has increased. 

Ayesha Akter, a resident of Tikatuli area said: “Nowadays the disturbance caused by mosquitoes has increased massively in our area. We cannot even think about sleeping without a mosquito net.” 

“Before the national election, DSCC workers sprayed smoke regularly in our locality but in the last two months, we have not seen any attempts to control mosquito breeding,” she added.

Measures taken by DNCC and DSCC 

Primarily, city corporations are responsible for controlling mosquito infestations.

However, both city corporations have only been occasionally spraying smoke and insecticides.

Md Deoan Abdul Mannan, ward 11 councillor of the DNCC, said:  “It is very important to destroy the breeding ground of the mosquitoes.  We also need to spray the households and drains. 

“Along with spraying insecticides in households, it will be the most effective to apply larvicide in stagnant water and clean water hyacinths to combat the outbreak of mosquitoe-borne diseases.

“Lack of proper monitoring and a combined initiative by the authorities are the main reasons for the increasing mosquito menace,” he added.

DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said: “We will launch crash programs for mosquito eradication from the city and clean up the drainage system for the coming rainy season. Concerned authorities and councillors will try their level best to combat the mosquito menace.

“I have asked the councillors to provide me with written suggestions to control the situation. We will also service drains within the next seven days. Workers need to perform their tasks properly for the issue to be resolved.”

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Chief Executive Officer of DSCC Mustafizur Rahman said: “Due to a supply shortage of the required medicines, mosquito control activities have been interrupted for the last few months.

“We have restarted our efforts now.”

City corporations get budget allocations each year to combat the mosquito issue. In 2018-19 fiscal year the budget for mosquito-controlling activities of the DNCC was set at Tk21 core; and Tk20 core in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

On the other hand, in 2018-19 fiscal year, the budget of mosquito control activities of the DSCC was set to Tk26 core; which was Tk25.60 core in the 2017-18 fiscal year.