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Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, is urging residents to dispose of their waste in properly sealed containers to further restrict the rodent population in the Corporate Area.

Speaking at the Rotary Club of New Kingston’s breakfast meeting at the Pollyanna Restaurant on Friday (November 30), Mr. Arscott noted that recent efforts by both householders and restaurateurs to properly containerize their waste have resulted in a dramatic reduction in rodent infestation in Kingston and St. Andrew.

“We have tried to get the message out that there is no point in setting rat baits while citizens continue to feed these rats. The restaurants around the Corporate Area used to dispose of their waste in a way that allowed access to the rats,” he said.

“We encouraged them to containerize their waste in such a way that would minimise access by the rodents. This was done in many cases, and we have seen a dramatic reduction,” Mr. Arscott informed.

He noted that the Ministry has launched a public education programme targeting Corporate Area schools in an effort to ensure that they also containerize and dispose of their waste properly.

“We want everyone to become a part of this initiative, not only those in the restaurant industry, but also, those at home as well as the street vendors,” he said.

“Basically, what we want is to starve the rats, and once you starve the rats, and you set the bait, then we will be able to bring the rat population in the Corporate Area down to acceptable levels,” Mr. Arscott argued.

“So, we encourage those who have not yet containerized their waste to begin to (do so) to reduce rat infestation in the Corporate Area. We are going to track this programme to see how successful we can be to once and for all bring this problem under control,” he stated.