Monday, June 26, 2006

Striats Times (23 June 2006) - Ltr: NEA not able to access mosquito-hazard premises

June 23, 2006
NEA not able to access mosquito-hazard premises

I REFER to the article, 'Dengue cluster at Farrer Road condo' (ST, June 16).
I wrote to the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Feb 18, following Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim's call for all Singaporeans to be the 'eyes and ears' in the fight against dengue, because I was deeply concerned about the hazard posed by a neighbour's premises in Toh Tuck Place.
There were numerous empty fish-tanks and earthenware pots. There were also flower-pots and pans left out in the open for months.
A disused washing area had been turned into a miniature pond to grow water hyacinth but there were no fishes within.
NEA officers were invited to view the premises from the vantage point of my home. They agreed in writing that there was an environmental hazard, and assured me that appropriate measures would be taken to resolve the problem.
However, after four months, the problem had not been rectified. The NEA has not been able to access my neighbour's premises despite three letters being sent to the owner.
In this time, I wonder how many batches of mosquitoes have hatched and flooded our neighbourhood.
There has been a definite increase in the number of mosquitoes in our area and my grandchildren, aged two months to two years, are getting bitten many times each day.
This has caused me anxiety as it is well known that dengue tends to affect the young and the elderly more seriously.
Must there be a cluster of dengue cases before the NEA can enforce inspection of such premises?
Why wait when there is already a clear and present danger?

Dr Kam Hwee Beng


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