Entornointeligente.com / Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper EDITORIAL: Issue of neglected lots resurfaces Fri, 04/23/2021 – 5:35am Efforts to clean up the ash fall on the island following recent eruptions of La Soufriere volcano in neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines has unearthed some issues that would need to be addressed in the future where mitigation is concerned; issues like having adequate coverings available for specific areas in various sectors, for example pools and outdoor equipment. However, longstanding issues have also surfaced once again, namely the challenges associated with vacant and neglected lots and properties.
In the past, homeowners have complained loudly about the neglect of nearby overgrown lots or neglected delapidated properties near their residences. Government has even sought to put steps in place whereby lots are cleared and owners billed for the service, or sites be condemned and cleared if property owners refused to step up to take responsibility for their structure and it is found to be a health risk. However, these options would take months to be executed and the matter of the clean up of ash is one which must be done hastily if desired effects are to be realised. It makes no sense attempting to clean your living area when ash and dust from other properties nearby will blow onto your lot. Everyone must clean up together if the environs are to remain clean.
Unfortunately, this is the case in several instances presently, and has also occurred in the past during the rainy season with regard to propogation of the aedes egypti mosquito – the vector that causes dengue, which has recorded a marked increase in Barbados in recent months.
There are some that would say those affected should roll up their sleeves and clean the neighbouring areas, especially if it negatively impacts their own health. However, while this is true in theory, in reality cleaning an area large enough to situate a property, along with your own land area, is no easy task. It is physically draining, especially when you get into the category of senior citizen, and/or can be expensive to buy or rent materials and equipment with which to clean. It is not only unfair, it may very well be impossible for some.
As such, The Barbados Advocate calls on all property owners, whether resident in this country or not, to straighten up and act right.
This Sunday April 25 will be recognised as World Malaria Day and though there is no high risk of this particular disease in Barbados, dengue and other illnesses caused by the aedes egypti moosquito are still a threat. Therefore, efforts must continue to not only clean up ash and dust, but eradicate mosquito breeding grounds and take the necessary precautions to avoid these deadly infections. Currently, the Ministry of Health has its “hands full” with COVID-19. Therefore it is highly unlikely that health inspectors would be going into communities at this time to check residences for possible breeding grounds for vectors. In the recent past, the fogging team has also been employed to keep the pests at bay. Still, it is not enough to rely on the Ministry’s efforts. Instead, persons need to take responsibility for their immediate environments.
In the past it was stated that the Ministry was contemplating the use of strong educational programmes to encourage persons to be more responsible in the fight against the spread of dengue. We support any means necessary to bring about a necessary behaviour change amongst Barbadians, however educational campaigns alone will not suffice. There need to be fines and laws put in place to target those who willfully encourage the proliferation of the mosquito pest. Homeowners who maintain filthy surroundings and those who have neglected properties on vacant lots should be charged or fined and the monies put towards the clean up.
Barbados prides itself on its high standards of living and being a leader in the provision of healthcare in the region. If this achievement is to remain within its grasp, then each and every person must do their part to help eradicate mosquitoes and keep this country free of these dreaded diseases.
LINK ORIGINAL: Barbados Advocate