Help with mozzie checks on rooftops

With dengue in the news again, there has been much publicity on the simple five-step "Mozzie Wipeout" campaign.

But one of the steps - clearing blockages and putting insecticide in the roof gutters - is not that simple. 

Many people living in landed properties are unlikely to know how to access their rooftops.

One would need a very tall ladder.

But even if such a ladder is available, it might not be advisable to take the risk of climbing up such a height.

Moreover, many landed property owners are elderly people living alone.

Perhaps the relevant authorities can arrange for rooftop inspections in the whole estate and charge each household a nominal fee. If the fee is affordable, participation in an estate-wide inspection can then be made compulsory.

Two National Environment Agency officers recently inspected my landed property for mosquito breeding spots and gave the all-clear.

However, they said that I would have to engage a private contractor to check my rooftop.

But how many people are prepared to spend possibly a few hundred dollars to engage a contractor for such a check? 

Perhaps the relevant authorities can arrange for rooftop inspections in the whole estate and charge each household a nominal fee.

If the fee is affordable, participation in an estate-wide inspection can then be made compulsory.

These checks may be crucial to the dengue fight as I suspect breeding spots will be found on the rooftops because many landed properties are located in the older estates.

There is bound to be blockage in the gutters if they have not been cleared for years.

Moreover, due to wear and tear, there could be cracks big enough to hold water, causing them to become mosquito breeding spots.

Danny Yeo Eng Chin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2015, with the headline 'Help with mozzie checks on rooftops'. Print Edition | Subscribe