Bangladesh sprays venues ahead of Cricket World Cup
Bangladeshi authorities have launched a campaign against mosquitoes at World Cup venues to ensure a bite-free experience for the hundreds of thousands coming to watch the cricket.
The tournament is the biggest international sporting event Bangladesh has hosted since its independence in 1971 and organizers want to ensure the players, officials and spectators enjoy the event.
The country, which attracts few international visitors, is co-hosting the event with its giant neighbour and emerging economic giant, India, and Sri Lanka, both of which have booming tourism industries.
Dhaka health department chief Nasir Uddin said Monday that hundreds of workers were spraying stadiums with insecticides and draining stagnant waters and drains where mosquitoes breed as part of the drive.
Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium is hosting six matches, including the opening clash between Bangladesh and India on Feb. 19.
Two others matches are scheduled to be played in Chittagong, the second largest city.
The opening ceremony, which is to include a performance by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, is taking place at another stadium in the capital.
While February and March are a good time to visit Bangladesh because it is still quite cool, the months are also the height of the mosquito season.
Dengue fever is common in Dhaka, but malaria is only considered a high risk outside the capital.
Uddin said he said the mosquitoes would not spread disease, only discomfort, particularly during day-night matches.
"Isn't it our duty to make the event trouble free?" he asked.
Authorities have also pledged to remove beggars from the street and repair sidewalks close to the venues to present Dhaka's best face to the world.
It is unclear how successful they will be in the chaotic, traffic-clogged city of 10 million people.