Opinion: Dengue-finesPOSTED: 01/30/12 1:48 PM
Dengue is an ugly disease we don’t wish to anybody. The government is reasonably consistent in communicating warnings to the population about breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that spread the disease.
In Aruba, the government went a step further this year: the dengue Swipe Team started to issue fines to citizens who ignored the warnings and left breeding grounds around their homes unaffected.
All in all the authorities issues 89 fines; that got people going. The inspection team visited 1,200 locations in the course of this month. In one case, the team found a garage that had dozens of breeding spots on its premises. When the inspectors returned for a second inspection, the owner had eradicated practically all of them – no doubt inspired by the thought that he would be looking at a serious fine if he did nothing.
Issuing fines is not a solution in itself. But if they contribute to a change of mentality, as the Aruban example seems to suggest, it is probably well worth considering a similar approach for St. Maarten.