Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Julia Farrugia Portelli and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi paid a visit to Wied Garnaw in Santa Luċija in which embellishment works have been carried out by Parks Malta with an investment of €115,000.
Wied Garnaw is one of a series of valleys that will undergo embellishment works. These are Wied Għomor (Swieqi / San Ġwann), Wied tal-Fiddien (Rabat), Wied ir-Rum (Dingli) and Wied tal-Ġnejna (Mġarr) with a total investment of € 330,000.
Part of the works included the removal of 1000 cubic metres of material which had gathered up and blocked the canals in the valley. This material was causing flooding and a loss of soil from nearby fields.
Parks Malta were also involved in the removal of blocks of concrete along 300 metres of the canal walls to enable the successful restoration of these walls. Existing rubble walls were also consolidated with the use of the Maltese globigerina limestone. Finally, culverts and other canals underneath Trejqa ta' Garnaw were also cleaned.
A number of invasive species such as the castor oil tree were removed whilst indigenous species including olive trees were strengthened and consolidated in place.
During her visit Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli commented on the importance of safeguarding valleys and other rural areas in the Maltese islands. She stated that the restoration of walls enriched in Maltese architecture will enable residents of Santa Lucia and the surrounding areas to fully appreciate a valley in harmony with the Maltese identity.
These works were partially funded by the European Union under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development - Europe invests in rural areas.
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi stressed the importance of environmental development in our country. He said that this is an example of the use of European Funds that are used as an investment in the villages as well as to enhance our localities and offer a better quality of life. Together with other funds investing in agriculture, we will be moving forward to enhance the Maltese environmental landscape, while providing more open spaces said Parliamentary Secretary Zrinzo Azzopardi.
From his part, the official in charge of valley management, Mr Alexander Borg Galea, stressed that these works in Wied Garnaw are part of a chain of maintenance and rehabilitation projects planned in a number of valleys around Malta, including Wied Għomor, Wied il-Fiddien, Wied ir-Rum and Wied tal-Ġnejna to reduce soil loss from fields and solve flooding problems. These works include the restoration of infrastructure with measures that complement the rural landscape and the planting of native and typical valley trees and shrubs.
Mayor of Saint Luċija Charmaine St John thanked the ministry and all those involved so that this project could become a reality after 4 years and which can now be enjoyed by the residents of Saint Luċija.
Also present were other members from the Local Council as well as Mr Jonathan Scerri from the Office of the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Tourism and Mr Ivan Farrugia on behalf of Parks Malta.