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Tutaka shows serious health hazards

Wednesday August 03, 2016 Written by Published in Health
Ministry of Health Public Health staff Anna Panioni, Geoffery Moekapiti, Clemency Emily Goldie and Tania Avare inspect a blocked drain on the Arorangi back road. 16072913 Ministry of Health Public Health staff Anna Panioni, Geoffery Moekapiti, Clemency Emily Goldie and Tania Avare inspect a blocked drain on the Arorangi back road. 16072913

A NUMBER of serious issues affecting some Rarotonga properties have been noted by the Cook Islands Ministry of Health following the end of the Tutaka mass cleaning campaign on July 29.

 

Health Protection Officer Charlie Ave said a two-week check of the island had revealed problems that residents urgently needed to address.

“We do acknowledge people for letting us come to their compounds to inspect them, but we have discovered issues that people need to do something about. They need to comply with health requirements for their own good.”

Ave said some residential properties had been found to have overflowing septic tanks. Staff had informed the homeowners about the problem and were following up to see that action had been taken.

He said other problems they included overgrown vacant land and areas around vacant houses.

“We do not know if the landowners and homeowners are on the island but notices have been handed to neighbours and left in the homes and we will follow this up on Monday August 1,” said Ave.

Other issues noted by the ministry included car wrecks and motor parts left on some properties.

Property owners with car wrecks that needed disposing of should phone General Transport to have them picked up or towed away, he said.

It had also been discovered that pigs were being bred in some residential areas and homeowners had been advised to remove the animals as soon as possible because of their offensive smell.

“The system is that we attend to these matters three times, said Ave. “The first warning is always verbal.”

The second warning would come in written form and the third would involve legal action, he said.

Ave said there were high chances of a rise in mosquito breeding sites if home and business surroundings were not kept clean and the ministry was asking the public to clean up potential breeding areas.

 “We want to ensure that we are all living in surroundings where there is no risk of any disease or any mosquito-borne diseases.”

The Tutaka programme aims to ensure property owners keep their surroundings clean.

Inspectors check for illegally-built or poorly-maintained septic systems, open drainage, overgrown grass and hedges and animals tied up too close to homes.