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Blantyre City Council wages war on mosquitoes

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Blantyre City Council has bemoaned increase in number of mosquitoes in the city, citing human activities as a contributing factor.

According to Director of Health and Social Services at the council, Emmanuel Kanjunjunju, rapid urbanisation has serious effects on the urban environment.

He said notable example is how urbanisation affects water ecosystem, adding that most rivers and streams within Blantyre City are polluted.

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“The rivers and streams in the city have been polluted due to industrial waste discharge of toxic chemicals, refuse dumping by city residents and broken or blocked sewer pipes that discharge raw sewage into the rivers and streams which are the main major source or breeding ground of these mosquitoes,” Kanjunjunju said.

He further added that the rapid urbanisation has been synonymous with unplanned settlement and has resulted in the city having difficulties to provide adequate municipal services such as sewage treatment and refuse collection.

He, however, said the council has outlined strategies to reduce the mosquito population in the city; these include surveillance of mosquito breeding sources and breeding activity, source reduction or environmental management as well as indoor spraying for adult mosquitoes.

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“We need money amounting to K12 million for the whole project which is being referred to as Integrated Mosquito Management System and we are appealing to companies, individuals and other well wishers to come in to help in combating this outbreak,” he said.

Save Kumwenda, Environmental Health Lecturer at Polytechnic University of Malawi said the research they conducted showed that a lot of households have sources of mosquitoes that they are not aware of.

He, however, said these mosquitoes do not cause Malaria, and Blantyre District Health Office has assured them that they have not registered an increase in malaria cases.

“We urge residents of Blantyre to clean up their surrounding and other places they feel can be sources of these mosquitoes,” Kumwenda said.

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