Environment Ministry tells schoolchildren :
Reduce polythene use to banish dengue
The Environment Ministry is concerned over the excessive use of
polythene by schoolchildren for various purposes including to wrap their
The use of polythene should be reduced forthwith to keep school
compounds free of mosquito breeding grounds, Ministry sources said.
According to health reports, school compounds are vulnerable places with
a large number of mosquito breeding grounds being common due to
non-availability of a proper garbage collecting system in some schools.
A senior Ministry spokesman warned parents to discourage their
children from taking polythene paper and bags to school, since discarded
polythene could easily block waterways and drainage systems, which could
help develop dengue breeding sites in school compounds. According to the
Environment Ministry, in addition to a large quantity of discarded
polythene, empty bottles, coconut shells and unused tyres were also
found at many school compounds during the mosquito breeding ground
cleaning programs carried out last week by officials of the Presidential
Dengue Task Force.
The Task Force includes the Ministries of Health, Education,
Environment, Defence, Disaster Management, Local Government and
Provincial Councils, Public Administration, Housing and Construction and
Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the Sunday
Observer that the Education Ministry has already made it compulsory for
all schools to carry out a one-hour cleaning program on Fridays from
7.30 a.m. to destroy dengue breeding grounds.
He said such a program would not only control dengue, but also other
mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and filaria.