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Sunday, 1 July 2012

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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 everyday meals.

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 Urban Development.

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.

 

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