In a bid to avert incidences of Lassa Fever and other vector-borne diseases in Lagos State, an NGO, Phosguard Fumigant Ltd, in collaboration with the government, has introduced a bounty, “Kill rats, make money”.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Oluwasegun Benson, the bounty would help to de-rat the state.
He said: “As part of efforts to de-rat the state and prevent epidemic from Lassa Fever and other diseases, a bounty has been placed on rats in the state. We will buy off at least 20 rats for a yet-to-be determined amount; in Lagos now it is operation kill rats and make money.
“A rat has 28 days gestation period and in the past years, there has not been any solid structure on ground to curb them from infecting humans with diseases. We are already approaching an epidemic level which can lead to a pandemic level with Lassa Fever and we must be proactive and launch a more coordinated approach to control them. “It is war against rodents and pests in Lagos State”.
Benson further stated that the company was also collaborating with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to either incinerate or bury the rats.
“Incineration is no longer in practice because of world climate control, however, we can incinerate one ton of waste at a time or bury.
“We bury with chemicals to ensure that the water from the dead rats does not sip into ground water that people drink. Everything is going to be water-tight as we are not just going to kill the rats, we are going to collect them using our trained and well-kitted personnel”, Benson said.
Benson said the project which would be launched in October and be the first of its kind in the country. He noted that with the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos, if measures were not put in place to exterminate rats, it might be difficult to control an outbreak of epidemics.
On employment generation, Benson said the project had the capacity to create about 200 or 300 jobs, particularly for youths. Lagos State Government had in the wake of outbreak of Lassa Fever in the country early in the year, made efforts to curb the spread by killing the vector which is rats. More than 130 people were then suspected to have died from the disease, according to statistics from the National Centre for Disease Control.