Abu Dhabi authorities received 3,372 requests to deal with mosquitoes so far this year, with most of the calls coming from the cities.
The Centre for Waste Management — Abu Dhabi (Tadweer) received 4,455 call-out requests last year from about 70,000 calls in total.
Tadweer currently surveys and monitors potential mosquito breeding sites. If mosquitoes are spotted, the sites are sprayed with biopesticides, which are more environmentally friendly.
The figures came on Monday as the emirate launched a public awareness campaign to prevent mosquito breeding.
‘How to protect our society from mosquitoes’ chiefly targeted farmers but also regular households and was organised by Tadweer in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre.
Stagnant water is an ideal breeding ground for the pests and this was the focus of the campaign. Tadweer is urging farmers and workers to cover irrigation ponds and water tanks at farms to prevent mosquitoes breeding. Stagnant or polluted surface layers should also be removed, while water pipes and septic tanks should be sealed. Tadweer has also published an information brochure for farm owners and workers in Arabic and other languages such as Urdu.
Conditions in cities differ from that on farms. In cities, breeding areas can be found in villa fountains, street manholes, leaking pipes and flower pots. Washing cars is not a problem, Tadweer said, but water can accumulate in drains and in roads and this is monitored. Tadweer advised home owners to keep areas clean, undertake regular maintenance and keep areas free of stagnant water.
The UAE was certified malaria-free in 2007 but cases continued to be recorded here of people infected when travelling abroad where the disease is still prevalent. But apart from generally being pests, mosquitoes can transmit other diseases. Winter is their main breeding season but it’s important to start prevention during the summer as uncovered water can become stagnant very rapidly.
Mohammed Al Marzouqi, pest control projects director at Tadweer, said mosquitoes can have a serious impact on public health.
“It is vital to take all the necessary measures to combat this menace and protect people from the diseases mosquitoes transmit,” he said. Call-outs regarding mosquitoes are reducing through Government programmes, awareness and education, he said.
This campaign is running until August and includes workshops, distributing leaflets, providing contact numbers and contacting farmers through text messages. Members of the public are encouraged to contact Tadweer with any concerns at 800 555.