The rain woes in Kerala continue to hit the headlines day in and day out with many people succumbing to fever and other diseases, which was dealt upon in an earlier blog in this space a few days back. As pointed out in that blog, all these chaos are only man made and is not something that should be associated with rains at all.
Kerala enjoys a tropical climate with plentiful rainfall and sunshine and never before have we heard about the strange diseases like dengue, rat fever and the like! So what could be wrong? Blame it on the poor sanitation, lack of cleanliness and non existent drainage facilities that add up to the monsoon miseries of the common man. The disease transmitting vectors like rodents and mosquitoes multiply in the filth and waste generated by cities as their natural predators are fast vanishing.
The natural predators of mosquitoes like frogs are facing extinction due to the rapid destruction of wetlands and poaching by man. Gone are the days when the arrival of the rainy season was heralded by the echoing croaking sounds of large frog colonies. When man decided to fight the vectors with chemicals, mosquitoes that are immune to chemicals emerged throwing open serious challenges for the health sector fraternity.
With the disappearance of paddy fields, snakes, which were the most dreaded predators of rodents are also facing serious crisis. Many newly developed residential colonies in Cochin are constructed by leveling paddy fields and marshy lands. Even today , during monsoons, poisonous snakes like vipers are spotted here, which underscores the gravity of the man Vs nature conflict.
When will man learn to lead a life without interfering the rhythm of nature? When the going gets a bit too much to handle, nature reprimands him with tsunamis, dengue, H1N1 and what not, which we have never heard before in this tiny state of Kerala a decade or so before! If the alerts remain unheeded, the end result could be catastrophic for sure. But as usual the public and the administrative machinery fail to wake up from their slumber until a serious calamity strike us all!
Rains form the lifeline of Kerala, which depends exclusively on the monsoons to replenish the power grid and the drinking water sources. So instead of asking the ‘rains to go away’ to get temporary respite from all these problems will it not be better if we try to solve the sanitation and waste disposal issues to make sure that mosquitoes don’t breed in the stagnant rain waters and the rodents multiply in the stinking garbage on the roads. Organic farming and wetland conservation would bring back the natural predators like frogs and snakes to fill in the missing links of the food chain and this could bring a noticeable change in the situation. Last but not least, let the humans not meddle with the laws of nature, because, he after all is only a small link of a complex interdependent ecosystem of this universe!