Programme to make all home gardens mosquito free | Daily News
To mark World Environment Day which falls today

Programme to make all home gardens mosquito free

The Ministry of Environment decided to implement a cleaning programme on June 5, 6 to make all home and garden premises mosquito free.

World Environment Day falls on June 5 (today). The theme of this year's World Environment Day is 'Protect our Ecosystem'.

However, due to the current outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in our country, we are unable to mobilize the public and implement massive programmes, said Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.

He was addressing a media briefing at the Ministry yesterday morning (04).

"We had made plans to celebrate World Environment Day. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, we decided to formulate a programme in this regard. Now is the time for the majority of the people in our country to stay at home and spend time. Therefore, on June 5 and 6 family members of each household should join hands and their respective garden, house and surroundings while adhering to health guidelines," the Minister said.

"Everyone is focused on the COVID pandemic these days. But, we also know that there is an increasing risk of a dengue outbreak with the onset of the monsoon rains. Therefore, we are conducting an environmental clean-up programme on June 5,6. We invite all the people of the country to join in to make this programme a success. Media institutions have already come forward to support this venture. Accordingly, we will select the best cleaned garden every hour and offer a prize of Rs.5,000. We request the children to join in with their parents in their home gardens and send us a video clip of their campaign and foward it to us. There are prizes and certificates on offer for the most attractive gardens selected," the Minister said.

Environment Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe said environmental factors play a major role in the spread of certain diseases. "When I was working in the Ministry of Health, I did a lot of work to control the spread of dengue. The use of plastic devices is a major factor in the spread of dengue. Especially yogurt cups. We discussed this issue at the Ministry of Health to minimise the use of plastic cups."

He said the Minister of Environment has issued Gazette Notifications to reduce the use of plastics. The home garden cleaning programme implemented for World Environment Day is a step in the right direction towards minimizing the use of plastics.

National Dengue Eradication Programme Director Dr. Aruna Jayasekara said that Although there was an increase in the number of Dengue cases in 2019, we noted a slight drop in the number of Dengue cases last year. The main reason for this is that most people who were at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic had more time to tend to their home surroundings and keep them clean, thus destroying mosquito breeding sites.

So far, this year, about 7000 dengue patients and deaths have been reported so far. However, due to the monsoon rains, there is a possibility of an increase in the number of Dengue related cases in the next two months.

"Therefore, the home garden clean-up campaign organised by the Ministry today and tomorrow will go a long way in helping the authorities control the spread of Dengue," Dr.Jayasekara said.