The Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority (GSWMA) is concerned that the presence of illegal dumpsites can contribute to the presence of the Chikungunya disease in Grenada.
Speaking on a local current affairs programme, Public Relations Officer of GSWMA, Myrna Julien said that the breathing of mosquitoes no longer just bring about Dengue worries but also Chikungunya.
The disease, which is contracted similarly to that of the Dengue, has affected over 100,000 people throughout the Caribbean and has resulted in 14 deaths.
Julien noted that something has to be done to reverse the problem of illegal dumpsites.
“We ought to put measures in place to ensure that we do not encourage the breathing of the aedes egypti mosquito.
We have been safe so far but we can’t consider ourselves too safe,” she cautioned.
According to Julien, now that the rain season is coming, it prevents the perfect conditions for the breathing of mosquitoes.
“I believe that the National Water and Sewage Authority (NAWASA) might be really happy for the rains that have been happening but there are concerns as to the existence of the illegal dump sites out there and the presence of vessels that would encourage the collection of water, clean water which is ideal for the breathing of mosquitoes…”, she said.
“…We just need to have one case of someone (affected by the disease) coming in on the island and it can become quite a challenge for us here in Grenada to try to control or eliminate (the virus),” she explained.
Julien pointed out that once Grenada has its first diagnosis of Chikungunya, it would be difficult to maintain a low average.
She said: “Most of the Caribbean islands where the disease was diagnosed, the numbers have really gone out of proportion and we are concerned here even though measures have been put in place by the task force to ensure that if it enters our country that our medical teams are able to handle it but one case coming in here is too much and the existence of one illegal dumpsite on the island is an illegal dumpsite too much,” explained Julien.
The Authority, she said is also concerned about a rise in Leptospirosis as illegal dumping sites are great contributors to the breathing of rats.