Dubai: As the summer sun bears down on Dubai, Jumeirah Lakes Towers' residents are faced with an additional summertime issue: Swampy lakes that attract flying insects.
As the water in the lakes isn't frequently changed, it stagnates, changing smell, colour and texture. As a result, this stagnant water turns into a breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes and other insects.
Ryann N., a resident of Lake Terrace tower, says the stench alone is enough to drive away visitors. "Having lived in JLT for eight months, I've got used to the smell of stagnant water wafting in through the window. However, friends are reluctant to come over because they can smell the stench in my apartment. And now that it's summer, sitting outdoors is just as bad as tolerating the smell indoors."
The café under Ryann's building is a hot spot for residents to unwind after a long day at work. However, the recent influx of mosquitoes and flies has turned an open-air coffee evening into a dreaded affair.
"I was with friends when we went down the stairs by the coffee shop to get a better view of the lake. I was horrified to see how filthy it had become. It was a breeding ground for insects, with many of them floating atop the surface of the water."
Meanwhile, over in Sabah Towers, Ala'a Negm faces a similar situation.
"During winter the issues are negligible, but come summertime and the lakes are rife with insects, which in turn attracts other kinds of insects, bugs and even flies."
Negm says that the short walk from his cluster to the newly opened Carrefour supermarket has turned into "a battle between humans and insects".
"Despite the summer heat, I don't wear my shorts when I walk over to Carrefour because, within those few minutes, I'm attacked by mosquitoes and have flies buzzing around my bare skin."
Fergus Appleton, General Manager of Concordia Community Management, the firm that manages the maintenance of JLT, said: "The lake water in all the JLT lakes is currently being refreshed - the refreshment programme is targeted to finish within the next four weeks. The water level is lowered as part of the process. When water levels are lowered it is not possible to treat the lakes for insects as the treatment is ineffective.
"The process is being carried out during the summer months to minimise the impact on the JLT community as fewer residents use the areas surrounding the lakes during this period. We apologise to all JLT residents for any short-term inconvenience."