The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is to speed up its Rat Control Program (RCP) in the city due to the noticeable increase in the number of rodents that have made some market places in the city their home.
The municipality stated that the RCP which had been established 15 years ago had received additional manpower last December, after a sharp increase in the number rodents were reported within city limits.
CMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam stated that the increased rat population has been identified around Colombo Port, Manning Market, the railway line along Maradana and Borella, where most of them were market places. It is suspected that these rats might have arrived through the stocks of cargo ships via Colombo port.
Dr. Pradeep said “The public can control this increase through proper storage of foods and disposal of garbage, securely closing the garbage bins, filling the rat holes with cement and using rat traps in homes. RCP includes destroying the rats via poisoning. Rat traps aren’t commonly used in Sri Lanka as it is an expensive measure”.
There are greater chances in the areas with paddy fields and canal overflow for the spread of rat fever.
Yet, there were 9 patients who were affected with rat fever identified last year in Colombo city but none has been identified so far in 2013, he said.
The public are advised to avoid going out barefooted during rainy days as there were possibilities for the spread of rat fever if the rain water was polluted with the urine of rats. The public could complain of the areas where the high rat population was high so that the CMC could carry out RCP, said Dr. Pradeep. (Benislos Thushan)