Drive against illegal pest control firms

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Drive against illegal pest control firms

SHARJAH — The Sharjah Municipality has shut down an unlicensed pest control company. The municipality has intensified investigation into the activities of unauthorised firms offering pest control services.

by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Sun 15 Apr 2012, 11:37 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:58 PM

Municipality Director-General Sultan Al Mulla said the officials noticed that several companies are giving pest control business services without obtaining the necessary permission from the civic body. The municipality intensified investigation targeting such companies.

“These companies deal with restaurants, cafeterias and small groceries, whose owners do not know the dangers of their illegal activities,” Al Mulla said.

A pest control company should first get licence from the Department of Economic Development (SDED) and then obtain permission from the municipality which would ensure that it would oblige by all conditions and procedures laid by the civic body.

He urged owners of the restaurants and cafeterias to confirm the validity of the company’s licence by calling the municipality before dealing with such companies. Most of them are unprofessional and ignore the safety procedures of dealing with dangerous chemicals which pose high risks including illnesses and even death if used improperly.

The municipality now has a special section for issuing permission for these companies under certain conditions, which include obtaining a contract with an engineer specialised in the field.

The engineer’s qualification and professionalism will be tested by the municipality.

As part of the conditions, the company should always obtain approval from the Ministry of Water and Environment and the municipality for the chemicals that it would use to carry out its work.

An official at the Solid Waste Section in the municipality said only 62 pest control companies were licensed to operate in the emirate.

However, they have tracked down many illegal companies circulating flyers and media advertisements giving their contact details.

According to administrative order No. 19 issued by the municipality in 1994, the pest control companies are not allowed to use chemicals that have not been tested and approved by the municipality.

All pesticides being imported are subjected to analysis by the Ministry of Environment and Water, which does not allow any pesticide not approved by the WHO or FAO to enter the country.

Strict measures were initiated after several residents in the emirate expressed their concern about the safeto of the chemicals used by firms that offer pest control services. There also had been some incidents of deaths or hospitalisation of people after inhaling poisonous chemicals sprayed at homes.

Many residents called the municipality demanding stricter measures against the companies flouting the rules and exposing people’s lives to dangers.

Samir Mohammed Al Hassan, owner of Al Anwar Pest Control Company in Sharjah, said many individuals who do not have experience in pest control services distribute flyers advertising such services. They buy cheap chemicals and add water to them.

When residents hire these “pest controllers”, they claim that they are using a gel that is safe for children. Since most residents do not have a clue about the materials used, they just pay the firm the money in the hope that their accommodation would be free of cockroaches and bugs. However, they could prove dangerous, he warned.

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com



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