Vic Falls starts mos­quito erad­i­ca­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Feature/national News - From Leonard Ncube in Vic­to­ria Falls

VIC­TO­RIA Falls Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has started in­door and out­door mos­quito spray­ing to con­trol malaria in the re­sort town.

Ho­tel op­er­a­tors last year com­plained that mos­qui­toes were caus­ing havoc and scar­ing away tourists from the coun­try’s prime des­ti­na­tion prompt­ing the lo­cal author­ity to in­ten­sify con­trol of the in­sects.

Some res­i­dents how­ever last year blocked coun­cil teams from spray­ing their houses claim­ing that the chem­i­cal - Dichlorodiphenyl­trichloroethane (DDT) - that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was us­ing was not ef­fec­tive as mos­qui­toes wreaked havoc soon af­ter spray­ing. Coun­cil then switched to organophos­phate.

The Chron­i­cle news crew no­ticed coun­cil work­ers busy around res­i­den­tial ar­eas car­ry­ing out the fog­ging, a process that in­volves shoot­ing a cloud of chem­i­cal into the air to ap­ply an in­sec­ti­cide in an area to re­duce the pro­lif­er­a­tion of adult mos­qui­toes.

Re­spond­ing to emailed ques­tions, Vic­to­ria Falls pub­lic re­la­tions and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Mr Ngqabutho Moyo ap­pealed to res­i­dents to co­op­er­ate as the coun­cil tar­gets to cover 90 per­cent of house­holds com­pared to 78 per­cent sprayed last year.

“We started fog­ging on the 2nd Septem­ber 2017 and in­door resid­ual spray­ing on Mon­day. Out­door spray­ing is ex­pected to end in the month of Fe­bru­ary 2018. We are tar­get­ing all built up ar­eas in­clud­ing pos­si­ble breed­ing sites such as sewer ponds and stag­nant wa­ter bod­ies,” he said.

“We would like to en­cour­age res­i­dents to em­brace this ex­er­cise which is ex­pected to cover the en­tire com­mu­nity of Vic­to­ria Falls to en­sure that it is highly suc­cess­ful.”

Mr Moyo said they are us­ing the In­te­grated Vec­tor Man­age­ment (IVM) ap­proach which in­cludes fog­ging, lar­vi­cid­ing, in­door resid­ual spray­ing (IRS) and through grass cut­ting.

Lar­vi­cid­ing is ac­tion used to de­stroy mos­quito larva in stag­nant wa­ter be­fore the larva de­vel­ops into mos­qui­toes.

“In 2016, a 78 per­cent house­hold in­door spray­ing was achieved against a na­tional tar­get of 95 per­cent and a World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion tar­get of 95 per­cent. This year we want to in­crease the cov­er­age to 90 per­cent,” said Mr Moyo.

He said so far this year coun­cil had not en­coun­tered re­sis­tance from res­i­dents.

Mr Moyo ap­pealed to res­i­dents to make sure their houses are ac­ces­si­ble to those car­ry­ing out the ex­er­cise.

He said peo­ple can also play a part by clear­ing drainages, lit­ter and wa­ter sources to de­stroy breed­ing places for mos­qui­toes.— @ncubeleon

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