Advice to seek DBKK’s help on mosquitoes
Published on: Saturday, January 09, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The area outside the backyard of this Luyang home resembles a mini jungle.
Rate-payers in Luyang and Kepayan, who fear that the drains behind their homes may have become a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes are advised to formally seek City Hall’s help to have their concerns addressed.

The residents are unhappy about the unkempt condition of the government land on either side of these structures.

In each instance, they decried the local authority’s failure to look after these reserves.

On top of noticing an increase in the number of mosquitoes buzzing about their homes, the homeowners also bemoaned the inconvenience of having to constantly clean up the dried leaves and fallen branches which littered their compounds.

Two of the three rate-payers said they had first reported these problems to City Hall months ago.

Each of these individuals provided Hotline with the location of their homes which was forwarded to the agency.

A City Hall spokesman urged them to submit a letter to the Mayor asking for pest-control measures to be implemented in their respective areas.

“Their correspondence will be minuted to the relevant department,” he said. 

“Their requests will be duly considered, with the department enlisting the assistance of the ‘Pejabat Kesihatan Kawasan’ (local health office) to determine if there is indeed a profusion of mosquitoes along their housing roads.”

“Should this prove to be true, then we will arrange to have their neighbourhoods fogged.”

He said City Hall generally did this in locations which were designated as “red zones” for Dengue or in places where previous outbreaks had occurred.

The spokesman said fogging was carried out according to a fixed schedule at the latter.

A Health Department spokeswoman said its staff would have to establish whether fogging was warranted in these cases.

“If there is a basis for their claims, then control measures will be enacted in their individual areas,” she said.

“In most cases, fogging is performed in areas where cases of dengue fever have been recorded.”

She said the rate-payers could also contact the authority for help regarding their misgivings.

The residents can liaise with Hotline to find out whom to contact at the Department.

SHIM of Luyang described the reserve land at the back of his home in Taman Layang-Layang as being an eye-sore.

He said no action had been taken to trim the grass and trees there in some time.

“This area is covered with overgrown trees, plants and weeds. It looks as if a jungle has formed there,” he said.

“I constantly have to dispose of the dead leaves which fall into my compound from this land.”

He voiced his concern that the open space might become a breeding ground for pests.

“Snakes and rats have begun to find their way into my compound from the direction of this land.”

He said, at one stage, he saw some government officers conducting an inspection “about two to three blocks away” from where he lived.

“I enquired as to what they were doing and was told that they were with the Health Department.

“They were checking the common areas around the housing roads as someone here had come down with Dengue fever.”

He feared that the drain, and pools of water collecting on the unkempt land outside his backyard, might have become a habitat for mosquitoes.

On top of being a public health hazard, Shim also feared that the reserve land might become a hiding place for unscrupulous parties to carry out misdeeds in the area.

“The overgrown greenery creates a bad impression especially in the eyes of those visiting the neighbourhood for the first time.

“The land on either side of the drain used to be tended to once every one or two months.”

He noticed that this was not done in October. 

The lack of maintenance of this drain reserve in Taman Selesa is upsetting a Kepayan rate-payer.

“By the following month, the greenery in the common area had run wild. So, I reported the breakdown in the grass-cutting service to City Hall.

“I contacted the agency, just before Christmas, to find out why the greenery still had not been dealt with.”

He was taken aback to learn that a contractor had cut the grass and pruned the trees two weeks earlier.

“Obviously, no one from City Hall went down to double-check if the individual had actually done this work behind my home.”

THIEN of Kepayan also expressed his frustrations about the agency’s failure to tend to the drain reserve outside his backyard in Taman Selesa. 

He highlighted the lack of maintenance carried out on this common land to City Hall in June.

“The drain is clogged with water vegetation and all manner of shrubs, weeds and creepers have sprung up on either side of this structure,” he said at the end of December.

“I cannot understand how the agency could be turning a blind-eye to this problem after so many months.”

Another Kepayan rate-payer, HOCK, bemoaned the stench coming from the direction of the drain behind his home in Taman Ridgeview.

“A green scum has formed on the surface of the water inside. This leads me to believe that the structure is blocked,” he said.

“Given the many mosquitoes buzzing about my house, I am sure the insects have made the drain their home.”

Another City Hall spokesman said its staff would check on the condition of each of the affected drain reserves.

“If these areas are indeed overgrown, we will arrange to cut the grass, prune the trees and clean the drains at these locations as soon as possible,” he said.

He said the maintenance of roadside drains fell to the Government concessionaire, with cleaning work performed according to a prearranged schedule.

City Hall generally alerted the firm’s staff about blocked drains which were in front and side of homes within the agency’s rating area, according to him.

“This is the most that we can do as we are only responsible for clearing those drains outside the backyard. This work is carried out once every three months.” 


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