Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Drats, rats! - MoBay mayor appeals for proper garbage disposal to ease infestation

Published:Friday | April 12, 2019 | 12:44 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis is making a fresh appeal to business operators in the western city and the rest of St James to practise proper waste disposal in order to eliminate the parish’s perpetual problems with rat infestation.

Davis, who is chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation (StJMC), made the appeal on Thursday during the corporation’s monthly meeting in response to a report from St James Public Health Inspector Lennox Wallace about his office’s efforts to reduce the rat population.

“It’s been happening right across the parish, where persons operate various business establishments, but waste is not being properly containerised so the rodents can’t have a field day in them. That’s why we had discussions with the restaurant operators to say, ‘Come on board with us,’” Davis told the meeting.

“I’m making this appeal to tell them that if they want their community to be in pristine condition, they themselves have an obligation to work with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to have their garbage properly containerised to be transported to the dump in a way that it doesn’t create problems for other people,” Davis added.

During his presentation to the StJMC, Wallace called for the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) to be more proactive in enforcing the compliance of the business community with the St James Health Department’s rat-control drive.

“As far as the rodent-control programme goes in this parish, we’re in a bad state. I’m happy for the NSWMA and the municipal corporation, that you’ve educated these business establishments, but what I would love to see is for the MBCCI to come on board in a positive way because it is the businesses that are causing the problem,” said Wallace.

“We have carried out the education programme, but as far as doing things differently, we’re not getting there with our businesses, so we ask those members (of the MBCCI) to speak with these businesses.”

Rat infestation has persisted in St James despite education campaigns and baiting exercises carried out by the health department since August 2017. In mid-February, police operating from the old Area One police building on Orange Street, Montego Bay, opted to work in the yard because of leptospiroris fears triggered by rat infestation.

christopher.thomas@gleanerjm.com