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RCCU Records Progress In Rodent Eradication campaign

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Thursday, April 14, 2005 - The Rodent Control Coordination Unit (RCCU) says it has recorded significant success in lowering the population of rats on the island specifically within the City of Castries.

The RCCU which started it campaign in September of 2004 says the six-month period of the programme yielded a change in the public’s attitudes to proper waste disposal as a means of curbing the rodent problem. However the RCCU affirms more work needs to done in that area.

Coordinator of the Rodent Control Coordination Unit Dr. Perlinda Dupre says the unit is particularly pleased with the progress made at the Victoria Hospital, the Castries Market and the CDC housing and commercial buildings in the city centre, which were part of a pilot project in the initial stages of the campaign.

“We’ve been getting a lot of positive remarks from the public especially in the market and the CDC area. There has been a 60% reduction of rats that are there. The Victoria hospital the same – all of this is feedback that we have been getting from hospital personnel who use to see all the time and then now there is definitely a reduction,” Dr. Dupre said.

Efforts to reduce the rodent population she says are ongoing. The Unit, she says, has strengthened these efforts with a National Awareness and Education Programme which included the preparation and distribution of posters and brochures, a promotional jingle and town hall meetings.

“What we really want is to improve sanitation. Because we have had the success, but then how do we maintain that success? Because the bait is competing with food being thrown out there, the poor sanitation….human faeces which is protein – the rats eat that,” the RCCU official said.

A field assessment has been done in the southern town of Vieux Fort, and meetings have been held with the assistance of a Rodent Control Action Committee established there. An area has already been identified for baiting activities that will commence soon.

The head of the Unit believes in order for the rodent numbers to be further decreased and kept down, citizens will have to continue to do their part by ensuring they embrace proper waste disposal habits and that they continue to bait. Dr. Dupre further notes that families with pet cats have the least problems with rats.

The Rodent Control Action Team comprises the St. Lucia Solid Waste management Authority, the Castries City Council, Ministry of Communication and Works, Department of Environmental Health, pest control specialists, the Chief Medical Officer and the representatives of the RCCU.


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