Published: Tuesday | September 16, 2014
Western Bureau: Councillor Wynter McIntosh, the newly installed mayor of Lucea, says residents of Hanover should join in the fight to combat the spread of dengue and chikungunya by destroying mosquito-breeding sites and disposing of garbage properly.
"Residents must be proactive in terms of taking personal responsibility to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes in and around their home environs," said McIntosh, in an interview with the media shortly after chairing his first council meeting last Thursday.
In addition to their personal health, McIntosh also noted that the environs should be kept healthy for visitors to that section of the island, noting that, as a parish with one of the largest number of hotel rooms, tourism was central to Hanover's economy.
"While we should make a healthy environment for our citizens, we must also ensure a hospitable environment for our clients and visitors who choose Hanover as their preferred vacation destination," said McIntosh.
While noting that the Hanover Health Services has instituted a mosquito-eradication programmes such as fogging, the mayor said residents should play their part by punching holes in discarded tins and containers, getting rid of old tyres and covering containers with still water that could serve as breeding sites.
McIntosh said priority attention would be given to keeping Lucea clean through the timely removal of garbage and debris that sometimes clog the drains in the town, causing flooding whenever it rains heavily.
McIntosh noted that the parish council has already embarked on a drain-cleaning programme as part of its overall plans to clean up the parish capital. He noted that the exercise is being done jointly with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
"At a meeting with the heads of agencies last week, I was given an assurance by the NSWMA that they would be supporting the parish council's clean-up drive," said McIntosh. "We will be also lobbying the Ministry of Local Government to get additional garbage trucks to assist in cleaning the town."
McIntosh also stated that the parish council would be working alongside the Hanover Health Department on a drive to sensitise citizens about the importance of keeping their surroundings clean.
"We will be embarking on an educational drive to enlist the support of the residents and business persons within Lucea to refrain from throwing garbage in the drains and on the streets and keeping their premises clean," said McIntosh. "Within the next three weeks, the council will be announcing a clean-up day for Lucea, where we will be inviting residents and business places to clean up their environs."