Peshawar, Pakistan: “When I woke up I saw a big rat run from the room,” said Qari Khalid, whose eight-month-old son died by a rat bite on his face and nose in February this year in 2016.
Ranked among the top 10 most polluted cities in the world by a World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 study, Peshawar in northwest Pakistan continues to be dominated by a landscape of waste heaps and open dumps. Strings of complaints from residents pushed the district administration earlier in April to announce a ‘rat-killing bounty’ of Rs.25 to Rs 300 in various parts of the city. A separate municipal body taking care of eliminating the vermin infection is currently operating in the area.
According to inputs from the Lady Reading Hospital, a total of 380 cases were reported in the first half of May itself and the figure continues to rise each day. As bulks of garbage occupy surroundings, residents are grappled with fear of these unusually “bigger-sized” rats claiming several lives daily.
Report prepared by Maariyah Siddiquee