“Rate Mosha Dine Machhi Ei Nie Dhakai Achhi”—this is an old Bangla proverb that has gained popularity among the residents of Dhaka city because of the prevailing unhealthy living condition of the country’s major city. Meanwhile, the lead picture and its accompanying 5-column story on this newspaper’s yesterday issue has shed light on an important public health topic. It is that nowadays mosquitoes rule the city for an entire period of a day. City residents do not get any relief at all from the tiny insects. They are everywhere – in houses, offices, shops and public transports. There really is nowhere to hide.
Mosquito menace is nothing new in the city; rather it is a perennial problem. But, unfortunately, the city authorities fail to take it seriously by taking timely measures to tackle the common problem. Last year, both the city corporations came under fire from all concerned for their miserable failure to tackle the menace. This year, they have reportedly allocated adequate funds, stored enough insecticides and mobilised more manpower to bring mosquitoes under control, but the outcome was a big zero. Now, the city mayors show lame excuses regarding their failures.The Dhaka South City Corporation mayor blamed it on the wrong suggestions of experts and the faulty strategy of his office for the rising trend of the problem. And the Dhaka North City Corporation chief health officer deemed box culverts and covered drains to be their major challenge as they cannot spray mosquito repellents there. According to him, under-construction buildings are another challenge for them as what he said these sites are prime locations for mosquito breeding. Whatever be the reason, the city residents are simply bearing the brunt of their failure. Now, they face the risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya.
Time is ripe to take note of the observations of the city residents who have suggested cleaning roads, drains and sewers regularly instead of blowing smoke to kill mosquitoes that has been proved to be a futile exercise. The earlier it is done, the better will it be for the sufferers.