Tue | Jun 2, 2020

Rats plague Port Antonio

Published:Wednesday | May 22, 2019 | 12:25 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
A section of Foreshore Road in the vicinity of the bus park in Port Antonio, which is overrun by rodents.
A section of Foreshore Road in the vicinity of the bus park in Port Antonio, which is overrun by rodents.

A massive increase in rodents in Port Antonio has triggered an emergency response from the Portland Municipal Corporation, which is partnering with Kirk Distributors to rid the parish capital of rats and other pests.

The rats and roaches, which have basically taken over the entire area extending from the bus park along Foreshore to Allan Avenue, are also breeding at a rapid pace. The rodents, which are visible along the rocky area near the sea coast, especially during the evenings and at nights, are also creating havoc at several business establishments in that area.

“It is indeed a cause for concern and we will be addressing this rodent situation immediately,” said Paul Thompson, mayor of Port Antonio.

He continued: “We will be meeting with Kirk Distributors to see how best and how quickly we can deposit baits and traps in the vicinity of the bus park and other areas, where roaches, rats, and other pests have been increasing at a rapid pace. Persons who continue to sit on that wall at Foreshore Road, while eating and depositing food particles, are merely contributing to the growth and existence of those rodents.

“We will undertake a major public education campaign to educate and sensitise residents about the importance of dumping food and waste into garbage receptacles, so as to ensure that rodents no longer enjoy the luxury of being fed directly or to have easy access to food. This is a serious health issue, and the types of diseases that can be transmitted by rodents, including leptospirosis, can be fatal to humans.” According to Thompson, the war on rats in Port Antonio and its environs will require collaboration from residents and business operators to rid communities of garbage.

Additionally, the rat scourge is compounded by a surge in the population of roaches, centipedes, mosquitoes and other pests that have found their way into rum bars, cookshops, restaurants, and private dwellings.

“All is well during daytime, but as soon as the clock strikes 5 p.m., the roaches and rats make them appearance,” said a jerk vendor, who gave his name only as ‘Shaba’.

“Di way how the rat dem big, dem can’t even run fast. And the roach and forty-leg give us the creep. I know that the parish council and the Ministry of Health did some work last year to rid the area. However, dem tek the place by storm now, and people who continue to eat on the wall near the bus park are the ones feeding them. Therefore, they continue to breed up,” he added.