By Sandun A. Jayasekera
A report on unauthorized constructions that trigger the spread of dengue in the Colombo city will be submitted to the cabinet by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena next week, a ministry spokesman said yesterday.
A study conducted by the Dengue Control Programme has revealed that many occupants of housing schemes in the city have constructed unauthorized buildings blocking the drains and thereby creating mosquito breeding grounds, Ministry spokesman W.M.D.Wanninayaka said.
The study has also found that certain vegetable and flower plants have blocked gutters and drain piles enabling rain water to block and stagnate thereby creating ideal breeding places for mosquitoes, he said.
Minister Sirisena expects to submit a report to the cabinet about the difficulty to control dengue without public participation and their assistance. In the Colombo city alone there are thousands of slums concentrated in a small land where dengue control and access by health officials are extremely difficult.
Minister Sirisena is of the view that the Urban Development Authority, the Colombo Municipal Council and the Presidential Task Force and all other relevant ministries and the private sector must come up with a contingency plan to control dengue in Colombo as it is the most affected area, Mr. Wanninayaka said.
On the part of the health ministry, the fumigation, spray of BTI in addition to house to house inspection and awareness programmes are carried out constantly in the city. What is distressing is that the control of dengue in Colombo and several other districts has not come to a satisfactory level, he said.
The study also reveals that there are more than 3,200 un-authorized constructions at the Soyza Pura Housing Scheme and Angulana Station Road.
He added that the ministry would launch another National Dengue Control Week from June 20 to 26 with islandwide dengue control programmes.
Meanwhile, the Government Epidemiology Unit put the number of reported dengue cases this year at 7,732 and the number of deaths at 66 today. The most affected districts were Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Batticloa, Kurunegala and Ratnapura districts.