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NSWMA targets Port Antonio in dengue prevention effort

BY EVERARD OWEN
Observer correspondent

Saturday, January 12, 2019

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PORT ANTONIO, Portland — The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) embarked on a clean-up campaign in Port Antonio on Wednesday as part of efforts to combat the dengue virus.

Among the debris that the NSWMA team removed from the Old Marina fishing bay were old motor vehicle tyres and refrigerators.

Residents welcomed the activity and quickly took whatever type of garbage they had out.

“We are happy they are here as the containers collect water and breed mosquitoes and this dengue alert is out,” said Kenneth Moore.

Tracy Fakhourie, regional operations manager North East Parks and Market Waste Management Limited, said the effort was an islandwide project.

“We are here to do a source reduction project of this community and fishing village. It is in collaboration with NSMWA and the Ministry of Health as our way of helping communities to rid themselves of old, derelict tyres and anything that can be used as housing for a breeding source for mosquitoes, so we can help to combat this dengue fever epidemic that we are facing in the island,” she said.

Fakhourie explained that the programme comes at no cost to residents; however they are required to continue keeping their environs clean.

“The culture has to change, the way we manage our waste, the way we reuse things that we no longer think we have use for becomes very important. For example, someone just said we use the old tyres in the water to form barriers along the seaside, but the longer we have them hanging around the more likely it is that they will become mosquito-breeding grounds,” she said.

“We encourage recycling, reusing but we are here to support and encourage the residents, but they have to own it to become their project. It is their life,” she added.

“We have been doing bulk waste removal from November throughout communities and it has been extremely successful,” Fakhourie said. “A number of things have accumulated since the Christmas... and we are here to assist,” she added.


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