The allocation of fund for mosquito control is increasing every fiscal year for the two Dhaka city corporations, but the city dwellers are not getting relief of its menace.
The dwellers in two city corporations – Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) – have been suffering badly for mosquito bites since the beginning of the winter.Even mosquito coil, aerosol spray, electric bat or fogging machines cannot provide relief to the city people from the menace.
City dwellers said mosquito population increased massively this year compared to the previous years.
The mosquito menace remains controlled to some extent during daytime, but it becomes intolerable at night.
Sources said DSCC had a budget of Tk 25.5 crore (255 million) for mosquito control in 2017-18 fiscal year which has increased to Tk 27.75 crore in the current fiscal year of 2018-19.
The DNCC budget was Tk 20 crore for the same purpose in 2017-18 fiscal year which has increased to Tk 21 crore this fiscal year.
The two city corporations spent around Tk 131 crore in the last five years on mosquito control -- DNCC Tk 66.76 crore and DSCC Tk 64.20.In the middle of 2017, mosquito-borne disease Chikungunya broke out in the capital and a large number of people suffered from that.
Due to spike in the number of mosquitoes in the capital over the last several weeks, the city dwellers are scared of being attacked by Chikungunya or Dengue fevers.
According to the health department, the two city corporations are tasked with measures to control mosquitoes.
It said every ward has five-six people employed to spray mosquitocides.
Officials of the city corporations claimed that their men spray mosquitocides twice a day, but the city dwellers said they hardly see anyone spraying the insecticide.
Sultan Mahmud, a resident in Azimpur area, said: “We heard the city corporations have taken steps to control mosquitoes, but in reality, we rarely see any mosquito control worker in our area.”
“We are suffering from severe mosquito problem, which is unbearable.”
According to the two city corporations, there are around 318 bighas of water body in DSCC area while around 367 bighas in DNCC.
These water bodies are cleaned by the two city corporations regularly, claimed the officials of two city municipalities.
Rais Uddin Sohel, a resident in Mirpur section 12, said “We have seen mosquito repellent was being sprayed in the area, but we did not see any effort to clean up the water body.”
“I see the municipal workers fog the area periodically, but have never seen them clean the waste dumping area which is the breeding ground for mosquito,” he added.
A survey in 2018 by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) found that 66 percent areas of DNCC and 61 percent of DSCC pose the risk of being the sanctuary for Aedes mosquitoes.
The survey found 41 sites in DNCC and 59 in DSCC most vulnerable for mosquito breeding.
Panel mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Md Jamal Mustafa told daily sun: “We have cancelled the spray of around 1 lakh litre mosquito repellent due to its substandard quality. We have also suspended the supplier for one year.”
“Recently, we have collected better medicine for mosquito control. We are using that medicine for the last one month which is very effective,” he claimed.
The mayor said: “We have collected 18,000 litres of medicine on test. We need 400,000 litres more.”
Due to the shortage of medicine, the regular mosquito control programme is going on in limited manner, he said, adding that “the medicine will be available soon and we will conduct a special crush programme in all DNCC areas”.
Brig Gen Sharif Ahmed, chief health officer of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), told daily sun, “Now we are conducting a routine work to control mosquito, but we have plan to conduct special crush programme from March.”
Mosquito problem is particularly acute in Banasree, Khilgaon, Motijheel, Mirpur, Pallabi, Dholaikhal, Gendaria, Meer Hazaribagh, Jatrabari, Dholpur, Shyampur, Kamrangirchar, Sutrapur, Mohammadpur, Moghbazar, Maniknagar, Basabo, Kamalapur, Mugda, Sayedabad, Rampura, Badda, Mohakhali, Kuril, Hazaribagh, Rayerbazar and its adjacent areas.
Apart from this, the residents of the city’s posh areas like Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Uttara and Dhanmondi have also been facing mosquito menace.
A majority of people in the elite neighbourhoods hang the mosquito net, but keep the mosquito menace at bay. Mosquito problem is everywhere, be it at the ground floor or the 20th floor.