NAQQAS U FFRANKA | The eco Gozo Home Consultancy Visits are a success story!
The Eco Gozo project Naqqas u Ffranka is leaving a positive impact on Gozitans who for the past weeks have opened their homes to experts on energy, waste and water management. The trained staff have effectively taken to the streets in Gozo providing free information to all Gozitan households on eco friendly measures that will benefit the environment while reducing their energy and water consumption.
The project is led and funded by the Eco Gozo Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo.
The Eco Gozo Home Consultancy Visits is one of the actions included in the Eco Gozo action plan 2010-2012 and contributes to the governments target to transform Gozo into an ecological island. The one-to-one consultancy service is a joint venture between the Institute for Sustainable Energy within the University of Malta and the Eco Gozo Directorate. It is a project aimed at educating everyone in Gozo in sustainable living, a concept which Government has embraced to the point of committing ¬25 million over three years to initiative the implementation of the Eco Gozo vision.
The project aims to increase awareness all Gozitan residents on how best to reduce the carbon and water footprints in their respective household while encouraging appropriate waste management practises. Trainers who are conducting these visits have been trained to consult families on Energy Conservation, Water Conservation, Renewable Energy and Waste Separation, and are now visiting all households to discuss on a one-to-one basis the particular scenarios of each individual family. This project is unique because it thrives on the proximity of a small island like Gozo by supplying personal attention to the needs of each family.
The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) of the University of Malta has been entrusted with the implementation of the home visits. The home visit representatives have attended a special training course and been selected through an evaluation process conducted by ISE. An information booklet, containing qualitative and quantitative information on EcoGozos main objectives, tips on energy and water conservation together with renewable energy technologies and better waste management, will be distributed to all the Gozitan families during these visits. Each visit is envisaged to take approximately 30 minutes. From the initial feedback it is clear that families are mostly seeking advice on how to reduce their carbon and water footprint in the bathroom and kitchen together with the washroom, where applicable. The advice provided by the officers is not limited to appliances but also on how to harvest rainwater and the use of second class water. Many households also showed interest in understanding better some aspects related to waste separation and waste minimisation.
Minister Giovanna Debono described this initiative as unique and very fruitful. Eco Gozo is a reality for Gozitans who are grasping the concept of a sustainable future for the island, said the Minister. A change in mentality is the biggest leap in the right direction which will guarantee a sustainable island for our children and a more attractive island for tourists and Maltese to visit. Eco Gozo will inevitably become a prime motor in the economic and social success of Gozo, said Minister Debono. She also referred to another related and successful initiative launched towards end of last year, which is now bearing fruit for our environment and Gozitans alike, namely the free distribution of a water-saving kit to all gozitan households. This has given the golden opportunity to all gozitan families to start or continue to reduce their domestic water consumption. Once installed this kit will save a household between 20% to 50% of the daily water consumption without affecting regular water needs. This is possible because the water-saving kit reduces wastage from the normal tap, particularly if installed in the kitchen from where 10% of a homes daily consumption derives. It is calculated that through this initiative a total of nearly 30 million litres of water will be saved.
For further details on the list of projects being implemented as part of the ecoGozo project, visit our website at www.ecogozo.com or join the ecoGozo facebook page.