BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) says they have no mosquito control chemicals in the city, leaving residents exposed to pathogens that cause malaria.
This happened at a time when city fathers were also reporting an increase in the rodent population. The council blames the increase in the suspension of rodent control programs during the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
“The mosquito control program has been hampered by the lack of chemicals. The mosquito population has increased and the section has been inundated with complaints from local residents,” said the latest report from the council’s Health, Housing and Education Committee.
Mosquito breeding peaks in the hot humid months, mainly from September to March. The Department of Health and Childcare usually supports the city with medicines and equipment to treat malaria.
The increase in rodents attributable to the escalation of end-of-life cars in the city has angered city fathers, who are considering measures to curb the spread.
“Councilor Joyce Ndlovu was concerned about rodents in the city. It was necessary to control rodents,” read the minutes.
Signs were that rodent control measures were suspended during the COVID-19 lockdown, causing an increase.
“Deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube said it was not advisable to suspend control of rodents during the lockdown. Rodents could have been controlled during this time,” the minutes added.
During the full council meeting it was noted that the rodent population was increasing due to the large number of abandoned vehicles and caravans.
A request has been made for the Council to launch an operation to collect and properly dispose of all decommissioned vehicles and waste.
In response, the deputy director of health services, Khulamuzi Nyathi, said that rodent control was compromised by labor and chemical shortages.
“From time to time controls were carried out on the outskirts of the city to prevent rodent migration. Investigations continued to be conducted in the city to identify possible breeding grounds for rodents,” the protocol added.
Chamber Secretary Sikhangele Zhou said relevant statutes regarding decommissioned vehicles and caravans are being enforced.