Blasted with pesticide spray

On Tuesday afternoon, 31st May, I was sitting at home with my young children helping with homework.

At exactly 5pm I heard the buzz of the mozzy plane overhead.

With all my windows and doors open it was a matter of seconds before the smell of insecticide blew through the house.

There was absolutely no time to close up to minimise us being sprayed as well as the intended target.

I called the MRCU to find out if there was a schedule of spray runs lined up so I could be prepared.

The gentleman told me that that particular mission was an unscheduled one off request by the DOE to spray the dump due to a particular problem with house flies.

The following morning I called the DOE customer service and explained my concerns.

The lady said she would call me back. I heard nothing.

At lunchtime on the same day I listened to Radio Cayman’s Talk Today programme on Adjusting to and Managing Climate Change and felt like I was in a parallel universe to the very eloquent and highly articulate guests.

On the one hand I should feel a great sense of relief and confidence in the fact that these are the people leading the quest for solutions to global problems.

On the other hand some of these people are also responsible for day-to-day environmental housekeeping solutions in Cayman – solutions that in this case resulted in me and my family (and of course many others) being rained on with pesticide without any real chance to protect ourselves.

Perhaps the powers that be believe that at 5pm on a weekday most people are still at their desks in hermetically sealed and air conditioned office buildings or perhaps even cocooned in their cars in a great big traffic jam on West Bay Road.

Please, please for the sake of some peace of mind and with an eye for the longevity of a healthy community I am asking the DOE or whoever to at least have some system in place to warn the community in advance of any spraying missions – a civil defence type air raid siren might be one solution. Any ideas ?

Colette O’Brien

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