Asturias ‘besieged’ by flies

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


A SWARM of flies has descended on the midwestern town of Asturias, Cebu.

They cover the ground and quickly appear when residents are about to eat, forcing most of them to seek cover behind mosquito nets.

Residents blame poultry farms for emitting foul odor that attracts the insects en masse.

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Barangays Antugok, New Bago, Old Bago, Lunas, Looc, Langub and Poblacion are reportedly worse off.

Asturias Mayor Allan Adlawan yesterday visited these areas to check for himself.

He stopped by a house in Old Bago, which is located near a poultry farm.

The mayor said he did not see any flies, except for those already placed in jars.

He said the poultry farms are closed and modern so it’s hard for flies to get inside the facilities.

Regular inspections

Adlawan said the town is home to three poultry farms, which are regularly visited by the municipal sanitary inspector.

However, he admitted that sometimes chicken waste is accidentally dropped when it’s transported to corn farms where it’s used as a fertilizer.

He said the Municipality delivers the waste to the farms on the request of farmers’ groups.

Adlawan pointed out that farmers do not immediately use the waste so sometimes it ends up sitting out in the open.

The mayor also said flies appear when the fields start to bear corn and this usually happens this time of the year.

As of yesterday, there were no reports of residents getting sick because of the flies.

Adlawan said each barangay has barangay health workers.

A municipal environment and natural resources officer will visit the affected areas today to determine what’s causing the flies to appear.

Looking for the source

Provincial Health Officer Cynthia Genosolango said she also will send a team to check the situation.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 will check the poultry farm that is reportedly the root of all this trouble to see if it has complied with environmental standards.

Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 spokesperson, said they want to know if it has an environmental compliance certificate.

Llamedo said for businesses that involve animal-raising like poultry farms, proper measures should be implemented to lessen the environmental impact on the host community.

Large poultry farms are required to not only regularly clean animal waste but also put up wastewater containment facilities to prevent pollution, among others.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 30, 2014.

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