Solution to rodent infestation
Written by: Nomsa Zwane
When space becomes limited due to increased population, rats are forced out into the open. Even though some people may think they’re cute and innocent, a rodent infestation is nothing to smile about. Aside from causing damage to the house and being a nuisance, a rodent infestation can be a serious health hazard, particularly among children and the elderly.
I recently took a tour around Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg, following the recent report of a one- month old child whose fingers and parts of her cheek were bitten by rats. I spoke to the child’s mother, Thandaza, who refused to talk about the matter anymore.
I went on to speak to another family where their four- month-year old Thato Makola was also bitten by rats while her mother was out to buy bread. She said she went out for a few minutes but when she came back, she was confronted by her child’s horrible screams.
She found the baby’s little finger and toes oozing blood… scary neh? I know, but this is an everyday reality to shack dwellers. As if that’s not enough, an elderly and bedridden woman from 13th avenue in the township has also been bitten by rats.
This just goes to show that there’s a bigger problem here. Residents are saying government has ignored them and blame it on lack of service delivery and housing, as well as proper sanitation.
On the other hand, the City of Joburg is defending itself, saying its programme of eradicating rats in Alexandra is being hampered by improper handling of domestic waste. Is it really? I’d partially agree, in every other yard in the township you would find a pile of uncollected rubbish, burst sewage pipes and dirty water streaming all over.
Whose fault is it though?
As I spent a day in the township I could see rats roaming around in broad day light and at some point, I had to wait for a rat to pass before I could cross the street.
Instead of the City of Johannesburg wasting millions of rands buying owls that aren’t guaranteed to eradicate the problem, why not use the R2.5 million to employ people to catch the rats?
The long and short of it really is that this township needs an urgent solution and barn owls are not part of it.