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BNP blames Dhaka mayors for worst dengue outbreak

Blaming the gross failure of the mayors of two Dhaka city corporations for the worst dengue outbreak in the capital, BNP on Friday announced a four-point programme to stand by the dengue patients and create public awareness.

Tabith Awal and Ishraq Hossain, the two BNP nominated mayoral candidates in the last elections to the Dhaka north and south city corporations respectively, announced the programmes highlighting the causes of the awful dengue situation in the capital at a press conference at the party’s Nayaplatan central office, UNB reports.

As part of the programmes, they said they will initiate a blood collection drive encouraging the party men to donate blood and encourage others to do that as the blood banks in the city are struggling to meet the demand, and people are crying for blood on social media for the dengue patients.

Besides, the party will also launch an online centralized ‘Blood Information Depository’ website to connect the needy and the donors and the service will continue as long as the dengue situation persists.

The party will also conduct a public awareness campaign through leaflets and posters at the ward level to eradicate Aedes larvae to get rid of dengue.

Besides, BNP together with the people will put pressure on the authorities concerned to identify Aedes mosquito breeding grounds such as government establishments and under-construction buildings and clean them alongside holding protest rallies with the local people to remove waterlogging at every ward.

“We believe that if we can make the people aware enough without scaring them, it will go a long way in fighting Aedes mosquitoes. In this case, we will conduct awareness-raising activities through online and social media as well as direct public awareness,” said Tabith.

He said seasonal dengue has now become a year-round fear due to the continuous negligence of the two Dhaka city corporations.

“Dengue was under control until 2010-11, but now it has become devastating, thanks to the last few years of misgovernance and negligence. The city has turned into a sanctuary for Aedes mosquitoes. The city of possibilities, with all its citizens full of life, is now in constant fear of death from mosquito bites,” Tabith observed.

He said the city authorities should have formulated a coordinated, effective and long-term plan. “But we didn’t see anything of that sort in Dhaka because there were no elected representatives of the people. As a result, the people of Dhaka are still at risk of dengue in 2023.”

The BNP leader also said if the number of cases continues to increase at the current rate during the rainy season, dengue could very quickly become an epidemic. “The current illegal city corporation has put the lives of our youth at risk through negligence and corruption.”

He said the two city corporations of Dhaka must also be held responsible for spreading dengue throughout the country.

Tabith said the city authorities are even talking about fines on the citizens to cover up their own failures. “The speeches of these unelected mayors are full of contradictory words. Citizens are being blamed for hiding their carelessness, failures, and corruption in mosquito control. We condemn this attempt.”

He said the mosquito control programmes of the arbitrary two Dhaka city corporations have been going on unscientifically with ineffective and expired drugs. “Even there were anomalies regarding buying those drugs as they spent people’s money without testing their effectiveness. In the case of spraying, there has also been severe mismanagement, show-off programs with untrained workers.”

“However, as representatives of the people and as activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party BNP, we believe it is our duty to always stand by the people with different initiatives,” Tabith said.

Both Tabith and Ishraq demanded the resignation of the two mayors of the Dhaka city corporations for their failure to tackle the dengue situation.

Ishraq, the eldest son of the former mayor of the undivided Dhaka City corporation, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, said the dengue has turned epidemic and terrible in the capital due to the failure of the mayors of two cities in Dhaka. “This situation has been created due to lack of their accountability to the people.”

He said the overall failure to prevent pollution and create effective waste management is one of the reasons for deteriorating the dengue situation to the current level.

Stating that Aedes mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, Ishraq said inadequate waste disposal has led to the rampant spread of Aedes mosquitoes in stagnant water.

He alleged that the two mayors are carrying out some activities arbitrarily to contain the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes completely ignoring expert opinions.

Ishraq alleged that the mayors of the two city corporations have failed to appoint “adequate entomologists in proportion to the size of the cities and their population.