Commercial and domestic property owners are being warned that they could be penalized if they fail to clean up their debris-littered buildings in and around the territory’s capital in a timely manner.
Thousands of buildings were damaged following last September’s hurricanes and a large percentage is still in a state of disrepair.
Their damaged roofs, broken structures, and rubble-covered floors are proving to be a nesting place for rodents, and a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Lionel Michael told BVI News that talks have begun with city officials to have the matter rectified.
Environmental health authorities are soliciting the public’s cooperation, in the meantime.
“The streets are cleaned, and they did a magnificent job of that. But inside buildings; the accumulation of debris is of public health importance. We are very concerned about that,” he said.
Legal route a last resort
According to Michael, the Environmental Health Department will only resort to taking legal action if absolutely necessary.
“We are appealing to them (property-owners),” he said.
“We will take every measure to eliminate environmental risks for the territory but we don’t want to take the legal route first.”
Asked how long property-owners have to clean these rat and insect-infested buildings; Micheal was unable to say.
However, he said he wants the matter addressed as early as this week.
Besides being a nuisance, rodents and mosquitoes are well-known for causing diseases such as leptospirosis and the zika virus, respectively.
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