Village cleans up to keep Zika at bay

National 1 minute, 57 seconds


RESIDENTS of Mukim Kota Batu came together yesterday morning to carry out a cleaning campaign around areas that could breed mosquitoes.

More than 100 residents from Kg Sungai Bunga and Kg Sungai Belukut, including members of the Women’s Bureau and youth, gathered at the Kg Sungai Bunga parking lot to clear the area of rubbish found by the river and its gates as a preventive measure against the Zika virus.

In an interview, the penghulu of Mukim Kota Batu, who is also the acting penghulu of Mukim Kianggeh, said the grassroots participation in the cleaning campaign is a sign that residents are concerned about the mosquito-borne disease Zika.

“We’re near to the waters, and there’s a tendency for water to stagnate especially near this parking lot, so this would be the best area to clean up first,” said Naim Hj Kamis.

“It’s very important to maintain cleanliness, especially when it comes to our health.

“So far, we know that there’s no vaccine or cure for Zika, so it’s important that we have this awareness in having to ensure that the disease doesn’t spread to our country,” he said.

While there is a good level of awareness among residents of Mukim Kota Batu, more can be done to ensure the cleanliness of the area, he said.

“There’s some kind of awareness, but of course we all need to be reminded of the importance of being responsible and aware that a lack of cleanliness can bring about disease, and who knows what’s coming next after Zika. It could be worse, so we must keep clean.”

The campaign held yesterday was also part of the mukim’s annual plans to have the villagers come together and work together for the community.

“Our cleaning campaigns are usually once every six months, depending on the amount of rubbish in the area. But we’ll continue to maintain the cleanliness here, especially if Zika becomes more dangerous. So we must try our best to prevent it from spreading so easily,” he said, adding that fogging could be an option in the future.

The cleaning campaign was a collaboration between the Mukim Kota Batu Consultative Council, the villages within the mukim and the Brunei-Muara District Office, which provided the logistics for the event.

The Brunei Times