By Roel Raymond Photo – by Asok Fernando
The miniature lake located within the walls of the Olympus Housing Scheme at Millennium City in Athurugiriya is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Faulty drainage systems at the Housing Scheme allows for filthy kitchen and bathroom water to trickle into the lake, creating stagnant murky pools – ideal conditions for mosquito breeding.
Although maintenance of the Housing Scheme should fall under the purview of Ceylinco Development Ltd – that developed and sold the property – the subsequent financial trouble the company fell into and its inability to fulfill its responsibilities have led residents to form its own committee in order to maintain the premises.
In spite of their community efforts, the cleaning or dredging of the lake remains an unattainable goal, leaving it clogged and dirty. Interesting to note is the fact that the Health Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala’s home is located within the walls of the Olympus Housing Scheme and less than ten feet away from the lake.
While yellow banners encouraging residents to fight against dengue and keep their home environment clean are placed in strategic locations within the Scheme, when questioned, residents acknowledged that no other preventive measures have been taken by the Health Ministry to prevent the spreading of dengue that has claimed as many as 186 lives this year.