By Bulawayo Correspondent
MOST parts of the City of Bulawayo have been hit by an unprecedented influx of rodents and mosquitoes, which have become a nightmare to residents due to itchy bites which the parasites inflict to human beings.
There is also a significant increase in rodent population after the city council suspended all rodent control programmes due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The council has also run out of stock for mosquito spraying chemicals, putting the lives of residents at risk as they might contract the deadly malaria disease.
“The mosquito control programme was hampered by a shortage of chemicals. The (Pest Control) section has failed to get chemicals required. The mosquito population reached high levels and the section was inundated with complaints from residents,” reads the latest report by council’s health, housing and education committee.
According to the report, during the month of October this year, the local authority received 19 interdepartmental requisitions for disinfection of council schools, mosquito control, white ants and rodents.
The report further says all the requisitions were attended to except for mosquitoes due to the chemicals’ shortage.
Ward 17 councillor Sikhululekile Moyo also felt since the rain season had begun, mosquitoes will soon be a nuisance. Spraying mosquito breeding places should be prioritised,” said the report.
The report further noted that Ward Two councillor Joyce Ndlovu and deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube had expressed concern over the influx of rodents in the city.
“Most of the areas in the city had a lot of rodents. There was a need to control the rodents. The deputy mayor observed it was not prudent to suspend rodent control during (Covid-19) lockdown. Rodents could have been controlled during that time,” reads the committee’s report.
The chairperson of the committee, Ward 10 councillor Sinikiwe Mutanda noted that rodent’s population was increasing because of many discarded scraps, abandoned vehicles and caravans in most parts of the city.
In response, the city’s assistant director of health services, Khulamuzi Nyathi explained rodent control was affected by manpower and chemical shortage.
“Investigations had continued to be done within the city to investigate the possible breeding sites. Malaria preparedness meeting had begun and the council was waiting for chemical supplies,” added the report.