Most parts of the city of Bulawayo have been hit by an unprecedented influx of rodents and mosquitos, which has become a nightmare for residents due to the itchy bites the parasites inflict on people.
There is also a significant increase in the rodent population after the city council suspended all rodent control programs due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The council is also running out of chemicals for spraying mosquitoes, putting residents’ lives at risk as they may contract the deadly disease of malaria.
“The mosquito control program was hampered by a lack of chemicals. No chemicals were needed in the (Pest Control) department. Mosquito population reached high levels and the department was inundated with complaints from residents,” said the latest report from the Health Council, Housing and education committee.
According to the report, in October this year the local authority received 19 cross-departmental requests for community school disinfection, mosquito control, white ants and rodents.
The report goes on to say that all requirements have been met except for mosquitoes due to the lack of chemicals.
Town councilor 17, Sikhululekile Moyo, also felt that mosquitoes will soon be a nuisance since the rainy season began. Spraying hatcheries for mosquitoes should be prioritized, “the report said.
The report also noted that Ward Two Councilor Joyce Ndlovu and Deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube had expressed concern about the rodent influx into the city.
“Rodents were abundant in most areas of the city. There was a need to control the rodents. The Deputy Mayor noted that it was not advisable to suspend rodent control during the lockdown (Covid-19). Rodents would have during this time can be controlled time “, says the report of the committee.
Committee chairman, Ward 10 City Councilor Sinikiwe Mutanda noted that rodent populations were increasing in most parts of the city due to the large amount of discarded trash, abandoned vehicles and trailers.
In response, the city’s deputy director of health services, Khulamuzi Nyathi, said that rodent control was compromised by labor and chemical shortages.
“Investigations continued in the city to examine possible breeding grounds. The malaria preparation meeting had started and the council was awaiting the supply of chemicals,” the report added.