Mosquito Lady Consulting in the Caribbean

LUXURY RESORT CALABASH GRENADA LEADS

THE WAY IN MOSQUITO CONTROL

calabash

GRENADA 3/11/2014 – Calabash Grenada has taken a proactive approach to pest control by enlisting the expertise of Trudy Rilling-Collins who is one of the world’s leading experts in providing environmentally responsible mosquito control programs for tropical resorts.

Mrs Rilling-Collins believes that the beautiful and ecologically sensitive marine life that is the life blood of tourism for many areas of the world, is being degraded by the out dated and ineffective chemical based pest management programs currently in use.

Mrs Rilling-Collins has worked extensively throughout Asia and has come highly recommended by many five star resorts such as Six Senses and Four Seasons.

The self-acclaimed “Mosquito Lady” will be in residence at the five star Calabash Hotel over the next few days and will be educating the hotel’s work force and introducing methods to eradicate a substantial percentage of the mosquito population on the hotel’s property.

“Our aim is to combine five star service and luxury within a relaxed and intimate atmosphere to create the ultimate Caribbean escape. Mosquitos do make the environment less comfortable as well as presenting a potential hazard for our guests and staff in the form of diseases such as the Chikungunya Virus and Dengue Fever. The safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff is always a very high priority. As ever, a major concern is our impact on the environment and therefore, there is great synergy between Mrs Rilling-Collins methods and what we are trying to achieve.” states Adele Garbutt of the owning family and also one of the resort’s Directors.

All Good Things Come to An End

As I say goodbye to Landaa Giraavaru tomorrow, and the Maldives on Sunday, I can’t help but reflect on the past seven weeks. I was at first stunned by the sheer beauty of these islands. But as I traveled to the various islands in the Baa Atoll and spent time with the islanders, I discovered that it was not the landscape (or seascape) that enchanted me the most – it was the people themselves.  The local people showed up day after day for mosquito  survey,  invited us into their homes for lunch, came out to haul trash in the pouring rain, asked questions and thanked us for our hard work!

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Incredible Dedication

As I write this post the team is finishing up work for the night, the time is already after 11pm. Today was our last day of work on the local islands. I think that this speaks volumes of the dedication of this team. We are truly putting in 110% till the very end.Tomorrow we are all hopping on the giant trash boat (dhoni) to pick up all of the trash from our cleanups on Saturday. I have never worked with such an amazing group of young people with such enthusiasm for affecting positive change in the world.

Great Community Support for the Trash Clean Up on Kamadhoo!

Trash Cleanup at Kamadhoo – Saturday, 14 September:

 

Trash Cleanup at Kamadhoo – Saturday, 14 September:

 

Trash Cleanup at Kamadhoo – Saturday, 14 September:

 

Trash Cleanup at Kamadhoo – Saturday, 14 September:

 

Aerial view of Kamadhoo – 15 September

 

Atoll view from Kamadhoo, Landaa in the distance – 15 September

Recycling and Sorting Trash at Dhonfanu!

A beautiful day at Dhonfanu.

Many people came together to clean the garbage from the house yards and streets!

We collected 5 and 1/2 jumbo bags of recycling!

And bags, and bags, and bags of trash.

A beautiful day in the neighborhood,

with some of my favorite mosquito control buddies.

Final week and then some!

So, we’re down to the last week. I’ve been working with Sean the past two weeks in Goidhoo and I’m currently partnered with James in Dhonfanu. They’re both really cool guys and they’re great people to work with. It helps to have good partners when your island is so challenging.

Let me start with Goidhoo. What can I say about Goidhoo? The people were helpful, the council, the healthpost and school were all very involved with the project but it was still very challenging. Mainly because of a couple of huge obstacles popping up in the form of huge freshwater lakes that they have. The weird part about the lakes is that even though they’re cut off from the sea, the water is still salty enough to kill most any fish we put in it, but not salty enough to kill mosquitoes. So it’s a huge breeding ground. Other than that, it was smooth sailing. We managed to even re-check the town twice and find more breeding spots. I hope Goidhoo keeps the project going because the people there seemed motivated to do it, but we’ll see.

And then James and I got assigned to DhonFanu. Let me say, this island is small but at first it seemed difficult to get the community to support the project. Starting Wednesday  a bunch of kids and some of the women came out to help and they seem very motivated and I can see some potential leaders starting to emerge.  Hopefully things carry on the same and we’ll be able to do some meaningful work in the island.

As for me, I’m actually kind of surprised that it’s the last week. The days have just been flying by and a part of me is sad that it’s coming to an end, but then again I look forward to going back home to family and friends. This has been an amazing trip so far packed with memories.

One thing is for certain, I’ll miss all the amazing people I’ve met on this trip and it’ll be hard to say goodbye. I definitely won’t miss the mosquitoes, though.

Till next time!

 

Week one on Kendhoo!

Working on the island with Mark and Piko has been really great so far. It’s about the same size as Hithaadhoo but it does have a lot more trash and coconut shells, which means more spots for mosquitos to breed. We started work on Monday because of the election, giving us one less day to get the project going but wasted no time in getting meetings and school presentations together. After meetings with members of the health post, island council, women’s committee, and the school we had gained support from several members of the community. The women’s committee stepped up right away and said they would like to keep working on the program once our team leaves. It was great to see that they are so eager in making sure the project continues!

By the second day on the island we had finished up presentations to most of the school kids and had a group of 12 boys join us for survey that same afternoon. They were all very helpful, hard workers who were more than willing to climb up onto tanks to check for larvae. We also had women from the women’s committee and Zumair, a representative from the Health Post help us on survey. Everyone has been showing up every day since and I hope that next week we’ll be able to focus more on breaking into smaller teams and getting more homes done because more people will have been trained to search for mosquito breeding spots.

The island trash clean up is tomorrow and I am sure that we are going to have a good turn out o both kids from the school as well as adult community members. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain like it has for the last two clean ups.

Goidhoo Project: Week 2

So, as I was saying, the first week went pretty well! Dan and I were preparing to take a welcomed off day to explore Fuladhoo, when we got a request from Goidhoo to reschedule the island cleanup-to the next morning-due to political activities. Without a better option for the community, we decided to go for it and hold it on Friday. Wisham still managed to garner a lot of last minute support, and we found a large group of all ages when we arrived that morning! It was a challenge to keep organized with so little preparation, but in the end it turned out well, with the community finishing the town cleanup in just over two hours! Over a hundred bags of trash and four jumbo bags of recycling ended stacked on the jetty. (Shout out to man Chad “Ali” Oliver for giving up his day off to help our island cleanup!)

Some setbacks started, however. The constant storms in the area had prevented students from taking extra classes on other islands, people from shopping, campaigning, and visiting family. We ended up with a much smaller team of volunteers for the second survey of the town, and most of the thousands of fish we introduced into the swamp became sick from salt intrusion. Plenty of the people we were coordinating with were gone, and a lot of the student helpers stopped coming (and had tutoring). We tried our best to shore up areas surrounding town and fix all the mosquito problem areas we had found. We also worked to find a solution to the jungle breeding but felt short on resources and manpower. Finally, we worked out details for project sustainability with island administrators. Wisham took on the project director role, survey leaders were identified, and Lira even managed to get increased commitment from the school for student help!

I left the island wishing for a bit more energy at the end, but overall hopeful for the long-term prospects of survey and mosquito control. It was a great town to work with and somehow was an environment that always felt comfortable and welcoming. It helped to have a great team mate. Thanks Dan!

Map of our progress!

It is amazing to look back at what we have accomplished during the last 5 weeks! We have successfully introduced mosquito control to eight of the 13 local islands in the Baa Atoll and we are currently on the ground working at the remaining 5.

 

Kudarikilu

We’re off to a really great start at Kudarikilu. After meetings with the stake-holders in the island, four community leaders have stepped up to work with us to make a process to survey houses for mosquitoes: Misfah(an island council member), Zuhaira(a women’s development committee member), Mukhthar(a receptionist at the health post) and Hassan Mohammed(the island’s family health officer). I’m really hopeful for the future of the project as they make up a very dynamic group that works very well together. They have come up with really wonderful improvements.

We’ve also had a lot of help from Kudarikilu School. Sydney, Sean and I presented to kids from grades 5 and above today. They were very actively involved and seemed very enthusiastic to join the surveys as well as the clean up planned for next Saturday.

The surveys will start off tomorrow and we will be working closely to improve the survey process as well as gathering more community support.