Dengue cases on the rise in Karachi as fumigation yet to yield required results

Published September 23, 2022
<p>Sewerage system has collapsed in many areas of the city after rains. (clockwise) Sewage stands outside a mosque in Soldier Bazaar; a motorcyclist wades through the water inundating a street off M.A. Jinnah Road; and garbage is dumped outside the Holy Family Hospital, polluting the environment at the health facility.—Fahim Siddiqi/ White Star</p>

Sewerage system has collapsed in many areas of the city after rains. (clockwise) Sewage stands outside a mosque in Soldier Bazaar; a motorcyclist wades through the water inundating a street off M.A. Jinnah Road; and garbage is dumped outside the Holy Family Hospital, polluting the environment at the health facility.—Fahim Siddiqi/ White Star

KARACHI: While the spike in cases of dengue and malaria in the city showed no significant decline, the municipal bodies on Thursday claimed to have covered 60 to 70 per cent of the metropolis in the ongoing fumigation drive that would continue till December.

Informed sources said that the fumigation campaign to eliminate mosquitoes was being carried out by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, seven District Municipal Corporations and Sindh Solid Waste Management Board in different parts of the city.

However, reports pouring in from almost every part of the city suggested that many localities were still replete with mosquitoes and people were unable to save themselves from bites that ultimately lead to malaria or dengue.

The sources said that the anti-mosquito drive could not yield the required results as yet because ponds and puddles of stagnant water and sewage on the streets and inside the localities were yet to be removed.

Municipalities claim up to 70pc area of city covered in the drive

They said that the filth and sewage in the city were serving as the breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies. And repeated fumigation was required to get the city rid of insects.

The sources said that the desired results of the fumigation drive could never be achieved in the presence of filthy stagnant water and oozing sewage in the city.

An SSWMB spokesperson said that they along with KMC jointly completed the fumigation in six districts -- South, East, West, Keamari, Central and Malir -- while the campaign was under way in the district Korangi.

However, KMC’s municipal services director Mazhar Khan told Dawn that the fumigation was still going on in the city and 30 vehicles were being used in as many union councils on a daily basis. “The drive will continue till December,” he said, adding that the foggy weather would help eliminate mosquitoes in the city.

He said that the district administration was concentrating on larvae detection exercise apart from tradition means to eliminate mosquitos. “We have formed eight different teams in this regard,” he added.

He said that insecticides and used crude oil were also sprayed on the stagnant water in streets and on roads in every part of the city.

The KMC director said that there were over 30 fountains in different parts of the city which were nurseries for mosquito larvae. “We have added fish in these fountains instead of emptying them to contain larvae which are immediately eaten by fish,” he added.

Mr Khan said that the open overhead and underground water tanks, buckets, tubs and flower pots were the main sources of growth of dengue mosquitoes in the city. “People should be careful to keep clean water covered with lids and covers,” he advised.

He said that KMC had so far carried out 50pc of the total fumigation in the city, while the rest was done by DMCs and SSWMB.

He said that the city’s municipal administration had procured 1,000 (one-liter each) bottles of insecticides from its own resources and of them 700 had been consumed. “We have also requested for another 1,000 bottles,” he said adding that the KMC was using 30 bottles daily.

The KMC director said that one bottle of chemical was mixed with 40 litres of diesel which could spray for an hour.

He said that the KMC carried out fumigation in 30 UCs daily. “Fumigation was done by the KMC in 29 different UCs of districts South, Central, East and Korangi on Thursday,” he added.

Meanwhile, DMCs also continued fumigation in their respective jurisdictions.

The sources said that the DMCs were given insecticides by the provincial health department. They said some DMCs were also using their own resources for fumigation.

Deputy Commissioner Central Taha Saleem told Dawn that fumigation in the district was effective as the number of dengue cases had started decreasing.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2022

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