Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
FOLLOWING THE recent heavy rains, several communities are now reporting an increase in the mosquito population, and there are concerns that this will become a public-health issue.
Residents from several communities have been complaining that the insects have become more prevalent in the last few weeks and they are asking the health authorities to tackle the problem.
In the Corporate Area and Portmore, St Catherine, this pesky problem has become even more acute, as residents say the drains are badly in need of cleaning.
Residents in Seaview Gardens in Kingston were more than willing to show The Gleaner several drains and waterways in the community that they say were the new breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
"As it touch 6 o'clock in the evenings, we have to go in. We can't stay outside. A whole heap of young babies in the area and they will get sick with the amount of mosquitoes in the area now," said Seaview Gardens resident Oniel Clarke.
He was supported by a group of women in the community, who said the mosquitoes were breeding in the stagnant water in the canals and drains.
One of the women, who identified herself as Jennifer, added: "When you come out and the mosquito dem swarm you, it come in like is a blanket you put on."
Over in Portmore, where mosquitoes have become a constant nuisance, the residents say they are now worried as the insects have grown even bigger.
"They (mosquitoes) are so big and black like flies, and when they bite you, you don't feel it until they are long gone. So we have to put up mesh on the grille and keep them closed throughout the day because we are afraid of getting sick," said Karen Williamson, a resident of Passagefort in Portmore.
In the meantime, William Broughton, the director of environmental health in the Ministry of Health, said the number of reports about mosquitoes to the ministry has increased, but this was expected due to the rains.
He said the ministry has been responding to complaints and carrying out mosquito-control programmes.