Apatang ups fight vs Zika


The Saipan Mayor’s Office intends to do its part in combating the spread of mosquitos and any of its viruses through beautification efforts around the island.
Aside from beautifying the Commonwealth, another main goal of the beautification campaign is to help ensure that Saipan does not experience a Zika virus outbreak, said Saipan Mayor David Apatang.

Zika is a virus that is spread primarily through mosquitoes. The first outbreak was in the year 2015 and the virus has been making its way across the Pacific since then.

According to Apatang, to lessen the swarm of mosquitoes and their nests on the island, the Saipan Mayor’s Office has been cleaning up Saipan of litter, junk vehicles, and other hazardous materials.

One of the many projects established by Apatang is the removal of junk cars in villages. Apatang said that junk cars that are left to rust outside homes or out on the side of streets may cause an unwanted nest of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are the main carriers of the Zika virus and Apatang aims to lessen the possible outbreak of the virus in any way his office possibly can.

Apatang and his office’s field operators have so far cleared the most problematic villages that harbor junk cars. These are Koblerville, Chalan Kanoa, San Vicente, and San Antonio.

The mayor’s office also encourages phone calls. According to Apatang, his office accepts calls from villagers who want junk cars removed from their property. Just give the office of the mayor a call and the removal of the junk car will be free of charge.

The mayor’s office started its island beautification campaign 2014.

According to Apatang, the junk car removal project has been a challenge as there are so many junk vehicles to crush but not enough resources to do it.

The mayor’s office currently has only one truck to pick up junk vehicles. Aside from that, the mayor’s office is in partnership with only one junkyard.

Apatang said the process of crushing a car is a long one and once the junkyard is full, it takes a few weeks before the operation can continue.

Apatang hopes to clear every village on Saipan of junk vehicles, no matter how long the process will take.

Kimberly A. Bautista

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