Forum: NEA has stepped up inspections of construction sites to tackle mosquito breeding

A cleaner in front of a construction site at Tampines West station.
A cleaner in front of a construction site at Tampines West station.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Alan Chin for his feedback (Step up checks on construction sites for stagnant water, Dec 24).

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has stepped up the inspection of construction sites, and has reminded construction site management of the need to tackle mosquito breeding, through tightening their housekeeping regime.

We have also made information on areas with relatively higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population publicly available on our NEA website, myENV app and other official channels. This can further facilitate targeted action by all community stakeholders and owners of premises, including those of construction sites and vacant sites, to ensure that their premises are kept free of mosquito breeding habitats.

NEA takes strict enforcement action against premises found with mosquito breeding. From January to November, NEA conducted about 849,000 inspections islandwide, including about 6,100 at construction sites.

During this period, NEA issued about 390 summonses and 25 stop-work orders to construction sites. Also, 13 contractors were charged in court for repeat offences.

Through the concerted efforts by the Singapore Contractors Association and industry leaders, fewer construction sites have been found to have mosquito breeding, with a reduction from 11 per cent in 2013 to 6 per cent this year.

Good mosquito control at the construction sites, and personal protection through the use of mosquito repellent, are essential to prevent mosquito-borne disease transmission.

To help construction site supervisors educate and protect their workers against dengue, NEA has produced educational materials in various languages, to reach out to foreign workers. These are distributed to construction sites and foreign worker dormitories.

NEA will continue to regularly inspect construction sites, and we urge the construction sector to maintain good housekeeping and remain vigilant in eradicating mosquito breeding habitats.

Tony Teo

Director, Environmental Public Health Operations

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2019, with the headline 'NEA has stepped up inspections of construction sites to tackle mosquito breeding'. Print Edition | Subscribe