Malaysia: Mandatory for developers to install mosquito traps

SIRA HABIBU The Star 6 Sep 16;

PETALING JAYA: It is now mandatory for developers to install mosquito traps in housing projects in a move to control Zika and dengue outbreaks.

Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said developers who failed to abide by the new condition risked losing their licences.

“We have to take stern action to over­come mosquito-borne di­seases,” Noh said.

The ministry directed all local authorities to impose the new condition when approving housing projects, effective immediately.

He said they were invoking Sec­tion 11 of the Destruction of Disease-bearing Insects Act that required ap­­proval for operations likely to pro­­pagate or harbour di­sease-bearing insects.

“We will work with the Health Ministry to compel developers to abide by Section 11 of the Act,” Noh said, adding that developers should absorb the additional cost.

He said this yesterday after an­nouncing a RM1mil allocation for a special NBOS (National Blue Ocean Strategy) committee, comprising resident representatives as well as officers from relevant go­­vernment agencies and departments, to help Taman Medan Cahaya residents overcome their long-standing woes, including faulty lifts, leaky pipes and lack of amenities.

Noh also announced that mosquito traps would be included in landscaping projects that were under the purview of the ministry.

The ministry had also made it mandatory for contractors building PPR (Program Perumahan Rakyat) homes to install mosquito traps.

Noh also took a swipe at the Se­­langor government for refusing to accept Act 672 that would enable the fede­ral authorities to take charge of solid waste disposal in the state.

Selangor, which has recorded the highest number of dengue cases, also risked becoming a Zika hotspot if the garbage collection issue remained unresolved, he said.

Real Estate and Housing Deve­lopers Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Seri Michael Yam said installing mosquito traps in new housing estates would add to the rising cost of development.

But Yam said they were willing to regard the new mandatory condition positively in view of public health implications.

“But installing mosquito traps would not help contain the outbreak if the threat was not tackled holistically,” he said.

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