Thu | Sep 21, 2017

New phase in war against MoBay’s rats

Published:Tuesday | July 11, 2017 | 7:00 AMChristopher Thomas

WESTERN BUREAU:

As part of its ongoing drive to combat St James' growing rat infestation problem, the health department will this morning launch a baiting exercise to encompass sections of the Charles Gordon Market in Montego Bay.

Lennox Wallace, the chief public-health inspector for St James, told The Gleaner yesterday that his office will be working with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the municipal police to carry out the exercise.

"We want to bait there at the Charles Gordon Market. We have told the vendors that they cannot do any vending outside on the street because of the duty we are going to undertake," said Wallace. "We will be going there with the NSWMA and the municipal police, so whatever persons are there, we are going to be moving them."

He continued, "There are some areas we will focus on, especially one particular area at the corner of Railway Lane and Fustic Road, which is an open dumping site. It is unsatisfactory, it is a breeding site; even when you take up the garbage, the food particles will be left there for the rats to feed on, so we will be doing baiting in that area."

Last month, the health department launched a campaign to tackle the rat infestation, which has impacted the operations of several businesses in Montego Bay and the wider St James.

Speaking about the campaign, which has included the removal of chicken and soup vendors from sections of the western city, Wallace said the drive has been met with support from the majority of business operators and vendors.

"When we go to some persons (vendors), even if they move elsewhere, those persons will come to the health department the next day to ensure they are in compliance and to seek education in order to properly vend. By and large, there is compliance among the vendors," Wallace said.