DBKK going the extra mile amid dengue outbreaks
Published on: Friday, January 27, 2023
By: Sidney Skinner
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DBKK going the extra mile amid dengue outbreaks
City Hall workers preparing to clean this backyard drain in one part of Taman Sempelang.
City Hall is going the extra-mile to look after the cleanliness of the common areas in neighbourhoods where a high number of dengue cases have been reported.

The agency has also asked rate-payers in these places to play a more active part in curbing the spread of this mosquito-borne disease by tidying up their compounds and getting rid of any unwanted items in which the insects might breed.

A City Hall spokesman said its Landscaping Department recently attended to the drains at eight residential properties where dengue outbreaks had occurred.

He said teams of 10 to 15 of the agency’s workers de-silted these structures and removed the water vegetation from inside.

“This work was conducted in stages over three weeks in Taman Luyang Phase 5, Taman Mesra Phase 2, Kg Likas Lama, Taman Sutera, Taman Sempelang, the Kepayan Low Cost Housing, Taman Seputeh and the Federal Government Quarters in the Sepanggar Bay Area,” he said.

The bags of sediment and weeds cleared from the drains around the Federal Government Quarters in the Sepanggar area are seen above.

He explained that eight housing areas were checked as part of an “Ops Bersepadu Menangani Wabak Dengue (Joint Operation to Fight Dengue)” between City Hall and the Kota Kinabalu Health Office (KKHO).

Four rate-payers were notified, at this time, about the disorderly state of their compounds as this mess could have potentially contributed to the outbreaks in these neighbourhoods, according to him.

He said two notices were issued in Taman Luyang Phase 5 and one each in Kg Likas Lama and Taman Sutera.

“The recipients were asked to clean up their yards and given a grace-period in which to do so.

“Non-compliance may see these homeowners facing court action, under the Local Government Ordinance (Amendment 2000), with a fine of up to RM1,000 imposed if they are found guilty.”

Landscaping personnel put their back into de-silting this Luyang drain.

Alternatively, the spokesman said, they also risked spending up to six months behind bars for allowing the mess inside their yards to become a public nuisance.

On top of the notices, he said larvae samples were taken from some homes in these neighbourhoods.

“Samples were taken from two premises in Kg Likas Lama and Taman Luyang Phase 5 respectively, as well as at one home each in Taman Mesra Phase 2 and Taman Sutera.”

A KKHO spokeswoman said the samples would be tested at the Health Department’s laboratory.

“The owners of these premises risk being slapped with a RM10,000 fine for inadvertently allowing mosquitoes to breed among the rubbish strewn around their compounds, if the samples come back positive,” she said.

The agency’s Drain-Clearing Unit hard at work removing the silt from the base of this drain in Taman Seputeh.

She said these individuals also faced the possibility of having to serve a jail-term of up to two years, if they were found guilty in court.

She said this could be done in extreme cases under the agency’s Destruction of Disease-bearing Insects Act 1975.

Should the Department decide not to initiate legal proceedings, the homeowners might wind up having to settle a RM500 compound, according to her.

The spokeswoman said larvaciding exercises were performed in Taman Seputeh, Taman Sutera, Kg Likas Lama, the Kepayan Low Cost Housing and Taman Luyang Phase 5.

Meanwhile, two teams from City Hall’s Landscaping Department cleared the sediment from the base of drains around three housing roads in Taman Ujana Dah Yeh Villa in the second week of January.

The spokesman said 12 of its workers also removed any weeds clogging these structures to optimise the flow of the run-off inside.

This action was taken after a homeowner claimed to have seen rats scurrying towards his kitchen from the direction of the common drain behind his residence.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we try to have the backyard drains in housing areas within our rating area cleaned on a monthly basis or once every two months,” the spokesman said.

“The grass on these reserves is cut once a month. Any trees in the common areas, which were planted by us, are pruned as and when it becomes necessary to do so."

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