Ong Siew Chey is on the warpath with the National Environment Agency on dengue. In an exchange of letters with the agency, published in Today, he tells that he has spent years trying to persuade it to eliminate mosquito breeding permanently in the open drains obstructed by fallen leaves in his neighbourhood.
He gave up talking to NEA and decided to clean the drains himself. Even that was in vain because after a month being away from the country for month in June, he returned to find the drains littered with leaves and mosquitoes a plenty.
Worse still, three of his family members — including himself — went down with chikungunya, another virus carried by the Aedes mosquito.
Finally, there was some action. Work to cover the drains started two months ago, was interrupted, then resumed. “Today, the drains are still not completely covered.” he says.
The war of words started when Ong wrote to the Today paper on Nov 19 saying Singapore is not winning the war on dengue because:
- THE response to complaints about mosquito is one-off
- LACK of co-ordination dealing with certain mosquito breeding sites is evident.
- OCCASIONAL inspections of construction sites don’t help
NEA replied four days later. Ong was not satisfied, so today’s letter which lists out his personal experience.