Valley in Gozo cleared of silt and debris
The cleaning of the main valleys and water dams in Gozo is one of the eco-Gozo related initiatives upon which work is being currently carried out. The past months saw the initiation of a programme of cleaning works that started in Wied ta' Zejta' limits of Victoria, which also included the restoration of two water dams for rainwater catchment. During the first phase of these works around 18,000 tons of silt and debris were removed.The Hon. Giovanna Debono, Minister for Gozo, accompanied by the Hon. Frederick Azzopardi, Parliamentary Assistant within the Ministry for Gozo, and officials from the same Ministry made an on-site visit. The Minister said that cleaning works in two rainwater catchment dams in Marsalforn Valley are also starting this week. This valley lies between Victoria and the popular resort of Marsalforn. She explained how these works are part of a wider project encompassing cleaning works in a number of valleys and water catchment areas in line with the eco-Gozo vision programme. She also said that these works form a sound basis for further endeavours in order that more valleys and dams in Gozo will be cleaned by the end of 2012. 'This will enable us to enhance rainwater storage facilities in Gozo during winter months in order that less rainwater is lost in the sea', added Minister Debono.
This should prove beneficial to the agricultural sector whereas through these resources farmers would be able to make less pressure on the water table. 'It goes without saying that the cleaning of valleys will also enhance the rural environment on the island', continued Minister Debono. She also announced that the last phase of this project will include an ecological restoration initiative that will be undertaken by the Ministry for Gozo together with the University of Malta.
On-going works at Wied ta' Zejta include the restoration of a damaged water dam which will then lead to other works connected with the repair of rubble walls and general upkeep. The Ministry for Gozo is considering the tenders submitted in connection with a call for applications by contractors interested in carrying out these works.
The implementation of this project started earlier this year. Inspections by Ministry officials and others from MEPA were effected throughout the main valleys on the island, during which sites where cleaning could be effected without damage to the environment were identified. Towards the end of March workers from the Public Cleansing unit within the department for Projects and Development of the Ministry for Gozo started to remove the debris and rubbish that had been thrown by vandals. The rest of the works, which also included the removal of silt, were effected by contractors according to a call for tenders issued by the Ministry for Gozo earlier on.
The Environment Protection Department within the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) collaborated and gave guidance to the Ministry for Gozo throughout and was instrumental in order that works could be started without undue delays.
This project counts as one out of eighty proposals connected with the eco-gozo action plan 2010-2012. The Ministry for Gozo is undertaking this plan which aims to raise Sustainable Development Standards in Gozo.