San Fernando City Corporation warns of $1000 fines for properties that mosquitoes inhabit

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 20:00

The San Fernando City Corporation is warning burgesses to clean their properties from anything that mosquitoes inhabit, or face penalties of $1000 and above.

The Corporation will begin putting up notices on Monday, giving burgesses one week to clear their properties.

The announcement came via a statement to the media this afternoon:

"His Worship the Mayor Alderman Haji Kazim Hosein is calling on San Fernando’s residents and property owners to play their part in preventing the spread of mosquito-borne diseases across the city and its environs or to face possible fines of $1000.00 and above.

The mayor stressed that the San Fernando City Corporation will start erecting notices for the clearing of overgrown lots from February 29. Property owners will then have one week to clean their property themselves before the city corporation clears the lots which will result in a fine being applied to the owners’ annual Land & Building Taxes. The minimum fine will be one thousand dollars ($1000.00). The cost to delinquent property owners will increase on a case-by-case basis and determined by the level of manpower and physical resources required for cutting, garbage removal and cleaning each lot.

The Mayor added “I am very grateful to all our residents who have worked with us by volunteering to clean up and reporting derelict vehicles, abandoned properties and overgrown lots. In the face of this threat however the fines are being enforced as this matter has to be dealt with in a serious manner. “

Speaking at City Hall today, Mayor Hosein applauded the ongoing efforts of the San Fernando City Corporation’s Public Health Department, assuring citizens that “the San Fernando City Corporation is prepared for the Zika threat. Over the past three years the San Fernando City Corporation has conducted an intensive source reduction programme which has successfully addressed the removal of derelict vehicles and bulk waste from the city. “

The mayor also shared “I have been working closely with the Public Health Department to ensure that the San Fernando City Corporation is taking all possible steps to prevent an epidemic of the Zika virus. We have implemented a three-pronged approach to eradicating

mosquitoes which include Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Spraying, Public Education and clearing of rubbish, overgrown lots and drains. Thanks to Senator the Honourable Franklin Khan and the Honorable Terrence Deyalsingh, and the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government and the Ministry of Health respectively, the San Fernando City Corporation has received the necessary funding to ensure the health and welfare of all our residents and visitors. ”

Mayor Hosein added, however “My office is working with the SFCC Administration to ensure that we take every step possible as we join the national fight against Zika. But this is not a fight that any of us can go alone. Private citizens, businesses and property owners also have a role to play in preventing an epidemic of Zika in San Fernando and the nation as a whole. This means that we need to wear protective clothing, apply insect repellent, and keep our homes and properties uncluttered and free of stagnant water from plant pots, discarded tyres and other receptacles.”

The San Fernando Mayor also assures the public “We have been very proactive in our approach. Long before Zika arrived, proper investigation and data collection has gone into the planning of our city’s mosquito eradication plan. I feel it necessary to advise the public, however, that no one should feel we are out of the reach of Zika, Dengue or Chick-V. In reviewing the data collected by our Public Health Department, I noted with interest that the confirmed cases of mosquito-borne diseases in the city have actually occurred in our more affluent residential areas. This is a result of the higher number of outdoor and indoor water features at these addresses. So we all have to be careful about the mosquito friendly conditions we are creating in our households and business places.”