Pollen Menace

Pollen Menace

The administration has failed to abide by High Court orders to cut down Russian poplar trees, leaving a huge population in the Valley susceptible to acute pollen allergy. In spring, the female poplar trees release pollen that accumulates in the form of white, fluffy clouds resembling cotton balls, a major cause for multiple allergies such as running nose and chest infections, eye allergies and skin rashes. The problem and its manifestations can be witnessed by the naked eye with the drifting in the air of pollen on any given day. Sometimes, it is so intense that the effect created is that of a virtual snowfall. This aspect of the pollen issue is also bothersome given it drifts in to the eyes, causing sores in the process. But, more alarming and worrisome are the pollen allergies that cause new health problems or add to the burden of existing ones like asthma , other respiratory conditions and so on. On a given day, when the pollen flow in the air is at its peak, it becomes practically impossible to walk or carry on normal routines without being affected by the pollen in one way or the other. The problem is the Russian poplar which was introduced in the valley because of its fast growth in the early 80’s of the preceding century. Obviously, in retrospect, it appears that no thought was given to the menace of the pollens that the Russian poplar would generate. While it is too late to actually rescind that particular decision, but it can be reviewed and prospective actions taken to moderate if not end the pollen menace. The best and most effective method to get rid of the pollen menace in the vale is to actually cut down all Russian poplars. While the High Court’s decision is there, it is not clear why the poplars have not been cut. Maybe it is because of vested interests and resistance by these who , in the main, have grown poplars as a business and commercial avenue. In the final analysis, it is the health of the people that is and should be paramount and not the commercial and business interests of the few. It is this fact that should and must be borne in mind and Russian poplars cut down in the interest of public health and hygiene. Let the process begins now before it exacts victims.