Mosquitoes menace life as city authorities sit idle

Common mosquito can carry Zika virus
Common mosquito can carry Zika virus

MOSQUITO menace continues to dog people’s lives, as it did in the past, in Dhaka in the peak breeding season from November to March. People living at Khilkhet, Rayerbazar, Khilgaon, Malibagh, Moghbazar, Rampura, Banasri, Jatrabari, Pallabi, Mirpur, Kazipara, Shyamoli, Banani, Gulshan, Mohakhali, Mohammadpur, Tejgaon, Uttara, Gendaria, Hazaribagh, Lalbagh and Kamrangirchar are the worse sufferers. The responsibility to control the mosquito menace lies with the two city corporations of Dhaka. The abject failure of the two city corporations to contain the mosquito menace could be attributed to the lack of accountability in the governance of these local government institutions. Most of the people in the capital complained that both the city corporations were indifferent to addressing this serious issue. Overall, the mosquito menace has aggravated the sufferings of the city dwellers already beset with other problems.
Officials of none of the city corporations have conducted any drive meant to eliminate the breeding grounds of the insect such as removing hyacinth from the water bodies in areas under their jurisdiction. There are many areas in the city where the corporation officials have allegedly not been spraying adulticide using fogger machines over the years, something that should have been a regular practice for them. Complaints in this regard have piled up. Te Dhaka South City Corporation’s chief health officer, however, said that they would carry out a special mosquito eradication drive from April to September. The evident lack of planning, implementation and monitoring with regard to mosquito control operations by the city corporations is largely attributable to the indifference of these local government institutions to public interest and public health although city corporation officials admitted that the mosquitoes became increasingly menacing over the recent weeks. Allegations are rife that with complicity of the corrupt city corporation officials, traders tasked to do the job usually supply adulterated pesticides to the corporations resulting in the failure of the anti-mosquito drives, if any at all, every year.
There are many species of mosquitoes that spread different diseases like malaria and dengue which sometimes cause fatality to the people affected. In other words, being indifferent to the mosquito menace may sometimes prove to be dalliance with danger. According to the health services directorate general, at least 26 people died of dengue and 10,148 others were infected with the disease in Bangladesh, mostly in the capital, in 2018. As is evident, today’s elected representatives of the two city corporations can hardly make any difference unless there is a successful drive to streamline the officials there. The incumbents are expected to rise to the occasion. While the government needs to make the city corporations redouble their efforts in mosquito control, the solution lies with the sincerity of the elected representatives in these institutions, which will demand their accountability to the people and thus ensure responsiveness to public interest.