In the August 16 issue of Ipoh Echo I wrote about residents of Lim Garden living in fear of dengue. This has become a reality and there were a number of dengue cases in a short span of time and victims including three of my relatives, one of whom had it for the second time.
Health inspectors visited a number of houses around Tarcisian Convent School to inspect their compounds, poured medicine into their septic tanks and put up posters on fines for people breeding mosquitoes in their compounds.
Four health inspectors from Batu Gajah came to my area and inspected the compounds. After inspecting the surroundings they told me to complain to MBI and JPS. The pond created by realignment of the river is filled with stagnant water and I was advised to rear fish to prevent mosquito breeding. The vacant land in front of my house is not maintained.
The inspectors informed me that they are low-rank staff and are obeying orders. They advised me to inform the media, talk to my assemblyman and best of all call TV3 to highlight the problem.
The main cause of the mosquito problem in Lim Garden has been identified as the individual septic tanks which are major breeding grounds.
K. Sagadevan, Secretary of Lim Garden Residents Committee has given a letter to Ir Azrol Bin Noordin, Branch Head, National Water Services Commission (SPAN) requesting for a Centralised Sewage System (CSS).
Speaking after a recent council’s full board meeting, the Mayor said, “I want all councillors to report to me on the performance of contractors in their respective zones.” This is a good idea. Each councillor must be given specific tasks and targets to be carried out in their zones. The problems in all zones are not the same. The councillors must hold weekly meetings with the residents. Perhaps it would be a good idea if the Mayor went around and looked at the situation.
Recently, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, Health Minister, said that a special committee to fight dengue should be set up in all states to complement prevention and awareness efforts conducted by the national committee. In Perak, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, Chairman, Perak State Health Committee has said that the state government has set up a high-level committee to tackle the dengue menace.
Setting up committees, attending meetings and adjourning with delicious food will not solve the problem. The members of the committee must regularly visit dengue prone areas and see for themselves what the situation is. Neither Dr Mah nor anyone of his committee members has visited Lim Garden. They are ignorant of the cause. The way to solve the problem is to find the causes in each area and take action.
As far as Lim Garden is concerned, the cause has been identified as individual septic tanks. CSS must be built without any further delay before any fatality occurs. Residents cannot be living in fear of dengue fever.
[As this goes to print, the writer’s wife is also down with dengue.]