Time for citizens to step up in battle against mozzies

It seems as though many people think that the effort to eradicate the Aedes mosquito is the Government's responsibility ("Singapore's Zika efforts started two years ago"; Wednesday).

The public knows the harm that mosquitoes can do. Unfortunately, there are still many people who do not carry out the Five-Step Mozzie Wipeout.

They are content to continue letting the National Environment Agency (NEA) check estates, the town councils do the cleaning and fogging, and the residents' committees go door to door to spread the word about stamping out mosquito breeding.

Clearly, the public must put in greater effort to fight mosquitoes. It is time for the Government to shift front-line responsibilities to citizens.

All worksites should have health inspectors who are trained by the NEA in the use of proper inspection tools and procedures, and who carry out ground inspections at least thrice a week. All must be responsible for their work area.

Workers in parks and gardens should also be trained to carry out proper inspection of potential water traps and discarded containers.

Heavier fines, plus community work, should be levied on households caught breeding mosquitoes. Repeat offenders need to be sent to court.

The People's Association or residents' committees can organise regular projects to clean up their communities.

It is time for the Government to hand over the job to all the people if we want to win the war against mosquitoes.

Samuel Lim Hak Tik

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2016, with the headline 'Time for citizens to step up in battle against mozzies'. Print Edition | Subscribe