In the midst of a chikungunya and dengue outbreak here, the agency charged with keeping Barbados clean has thousands of disused tyres stacked in open air at Mangrove Landfill providing the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
At the St Thomas facility, managed by the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), several thousand tyres are spread over an area about 100 metres long by 30 metres wide, and in some places as deep as six feet thick, or more. This is so despite two large fires at the landfill that decreased their numbers in recent years.
It is estimated that more than 5 000 old tyres are dumped each month, and with no programme in place to effectively dispose of them, they are just being stacked one atop the other.
Tyres are considered ideal breeding sites for the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, which spread the dreaded chikungunya and dengue diseases, because they are easily filled by rain and so provide an ideal “incubator” for mosquito larvae.
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