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pr201761en

PR201761en

18/09/2020

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TOURISM AND CONSUMER PROTECTION AND THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PUBLIC CLEANSING

​​​​Works by the Valley Management Unit and the Cleansing and Maintenance Department in valleys pay off

Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Julia Farrugia Portelli paid a visit to Wied Ħesri in Siġġiewi where, together with Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Public Cleansing Deo Debattista, she observed works undertaken by the Valley Management Unit within Parks Malta together with the Cleansing and Maintenance Division, two entities that fall under the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection.

These works meant a better flow of rainwater through the valleys without damaging nearby fields.

During the first seasonal storm, which amounted to almost 20% of all rainfall in Malta during the year, these works paid off as no reports of damage in valleys were reported.

10,000 square metres of valleys were cleared from tons of materials that accumulated over the years, to help improve water flow in the valleys. 

100 tons of waste, including domestic waste and construction waste deposited illegally and sediment from 25,000 square metres of valleys, were removed as well. Furthermore, rubble walls in valleys were rehabilitated and dams were constructed.

Minister Farrugia Portelli emphasised that these works in valleys were carried out in the context of the €17 million valleys masterplan launched last July, which is aimed at establishing the amount of water deposited in valleys.

She added that this masterplan also includes consultation with a number of stakeholders. This means that local councils, agencies, NGOs, farmers and other interested parties can contribute their ideas on this much-needed project.

She also touched upon other works carried out in valleys, where, in Wied Ħesri alone, 500 trees were planted in the last two and a half years and today are a tangible example of these works.

Throughout this year alone, the Valley Management unit planted an additional 200 trees in valleys and more are expected to be planted with the aim of embellishment and to help valley ecosystems.

Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli thanked the Valley Management Unit and the Cleansing and Maintenance Directorate for their constant work, particularly during this summer. “Valleys and their ecosystems are hugely important for the natural environment and Maltese countryside. We are committed to ensuring that storms do not cause damages to valleys and that these valleys offer a different experience and a new dimension both to Maltese people and also those who choose to visit us.”

Whilst these works saw the assistance and cooperation of the Cleansing and Maintenance Division, this directorate was also committed to cleansing activities in other areas.

Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Public Cleansing Deo Debattista explained that cleansing officials worked on cleaning 5,000 drainage pits, 464 waterways and 6,000 metres of culverts. In addition, the Division fixed 256 slabbed pits.

In the past few days, the Cleansing Division was also hard at work to clean numerous roads from waste and debris accumulated during the storms of the past days and that were a potential hazard to motorists and pedestrians.

During this year up till the end of August, the Cleansing Division also collected around 11,000 tons of illegal waste from all around Malta.

Parliamentary Secretary Debattista thanked all the workers from the Division for their non-stop efforts to ensure that any damages were addressed. 

Accompanying the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary were the Principal Scientific Officer of the Valley Management Unit Alex Borg Galea, Director of Parks Malta Ivan Farrugia, and Cleansing and Maintenance Division Director General Ramon Deguara.