Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Mobay declares war on ‘friends’ of rats

Published:Friday | June 2, 2017 | 6:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Homer Davis

WESTERN BUREAU:

Montego Bay mayor Homer Davis said the St James Municipal Corporation will be taking action against business operators whose unhygienic practices are contributing to the ongoing rat infestation that has been plaguing the parish.

"We have been having discussions with the NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority) and we are putting some plans in place to prosecute some of these people and put them before the court," said Davis. "We can't have people who are operating businesses behaving in this irresponsible way."

Davis, who was speaking at a press conference, said that some restaurant operators have been less than hygienic in their disposal of waste material, which is believed to be one of the factors driving the growing rat infestation.

"In several areas around the city, you have restaurants that are depositing their leftover food, and that is where the rats enjoy their lives best," he said. "We will be setting up the necessary operations to make sure that some of these people are caught and punished. They can do better and they should do better."

MAJOR CAMPAIGN

Within recent months, the rodents have been wreaking havoc in the western city, impacting the operations of several businesses in downtown Montego Bay. The infestation has caught the attention of the St James Health Department, which has launched a major campaign to eliminate the unwelcome pests.

Lennox Wallace, the chief public health inspector for St James, said that starting this Friday, the health department will begin a cleanliness drive targeting food establishments that operate at nights and which are most vulnerable to rat infestation.

"We will be having a night drive on Friday, concentrating on those businesses that operate during the night, to include chicken vendors that operate in front of places like the Pelican Grill and other businesses on the Montego Bay Hip Strip," he said.

"We will be targeting those persons who are operating from the Clock area up to Dead End (Gloucester Avenue), and those who do not meet public health standards will be closed. Any offence that is committed from now on will be fully prosecuted."