The accumulated cost of incompetence

After last Monday’s storm the usual comments were read and heard: the damage sustained, the cost to the insurers, the cleaning operations, the near misses.

There was no comment on the real culprit for a substantial part of the damage.

No one commented on the excessive building development taking over agricultural land over the years. No one commented on the building in and along valleys. No one commented on the lack of water cisterns in residential units which although a legal requirement since 1881 is more honoured in the breach.

Who is responsible for all this?

Successive governments and the public administration in the last 50 years is responsible for this mess. It is in fact the cost of incompetence.

The storm would have happened anyway, but :

If all residential units are provided with rainwater cisterns there would certainly be less stormwater gushing around in the streets. Certainly no overflowing sewers as still happens in a number of localities.

If less building development was permitted over the years there would be more land available for the recharge of the aquifer.  We would also have substantially less vacant dwellings

If rubble walls along valleys are properly and regularly maintained there would be less obstruction to the natural flow of water.

If  no dumping of waste occurs in valleys, there would be less obstruction to the natural flow of storm water.

But this has not been so.  Hence the scale of the damage.

The damage caused by last Monday’s storm is the accumulated cost of incompetence.


published at on 7 September 2012

4 comments on “The accumulated cost of incompetence

  1. Well said, for too long have past estalishments permitted unchecked development, and what we see today is the result of accumulated incompetence over the decades, when we are forced to live through floods in winter and still experience water shortage throughout the year

  2. Thank you for this excellent piece. Should government be advised that in France, Spain and Italy (I believe) many of the 1960s developments have since been demolished. Will the Malta government take this responsibility into urgent consideration and consider the demolition of the worst of these offences which have caused the greatest damage in this storm Since we are such small islands the urgency to demolish is all the greater. Who will pay? That is something for the government to consider.

  3. I agree with the author in almost all his statements. However it is not fair to say that no-one blamed the authorities, or that no-one complained of the taking over of arable land and valleys by roads and buildings. FAA and many individuals like myself expressed their disgust on this matter. Have a look at Facebook and see for yourself.

  4. I agree with you. A lot is said but only a little bit is done .A lot of people shed their own blaim on others.When things go good they are on the front lines.When things go wrong they say that they did not know about them . Or better still..they did not do it .Someone should be responsible .But in Malta who ? In other countries they resign , or are asked to resign.In here they are covered.If he is a normal person all hell is raised . Others ????

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