BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) says it has no chemicals to fight the mosquito menace in the city, leaving residents exposed to malaria-causing pathogens.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU/ SILAS NKALA
This came at a time city fathers also reported an increase in the rodent population. Council blames the increase to suspension of rodent control programmes during the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
“The mosquito control programme was hampered by shortage of chemicals. The mosquito population has been increasing and the section was inundated with complaints from residents,” the latest report from council’s health, housing and education committee read.
Mosquito breeding peaks during the hot wet months, mainly from September to March. The Health and Child Care ministry usually supports the city with drugs and equipment for malaria treatment.
The increase in rodents, which is blamed on escalation of scrap cars in the city, has irked the city fathers who are looking into adopting measures to control the spread.
“Councillor Joyce Ndlovu was concerned about rodents in the city. There was need to control rodents,” the minutes read.
Indications were that, during the COVID-19 lockdown, the rodent control measures were suspended, a development which resulted in the increase.
“Deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said it was not prudent to suspend rodent control during lockdown. Rodents could have been controlled during that time,” the minutes added.
It was revealed during full council meeting that the rodent population was increasing because of many disused vehicles and caravans.
A request was made that the council should embark on an operation to collect all disused vehicles and scraps and properly dispose them.
In response, the assistant director of health services Khulamuzi Nyathi said rodent control was affected by manpower and chemical shortages.
“Controls were being done from time-to- time in the outskirts of the city to prevent rodent migration. Investigations had continued to be done within the city to establish the possible rodent breeding sites,” the minutes added.
Chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou said relevant by-laws would be enforced in relation to disused vehicles and caravans.
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