Fil-Kalkara ħiereġ id-drenaġġ


Fil-Kalkara ukoll, illum għamlet ix-xita. Xita qawwija.

Bħal kullmeta tagħmel xita qawwija fil-pjazza ta’ quddiem il-Knisja għandna riħa ta’ drenaġġ.

Bosta tħallew jibnu u flok ma għamlu bir biex fih jinġabar l-ilma tax-xita, qed jitfgħu l-ilma tax-xita fid-drenaġġ.

Is-sistema tad-drenaġġ ma tiflaħx dan l-ilma kollu u allura it-tappieri tad-drenaġġ qed ifuru.

Fl-2018, meta hemm min jippretendi li hu l-aqwa fl-Ewropa dawn l-affarijiet m’għandhomx jiġru.

Min hu responsabbli?

L-ewwel u qabel kollox hu responsabbli kull min bena jew qiegħed jibni u mhux jaħseb għal bir. Imma miegħu huma responsabbli l-Awtoritá tal-Ippjanar u l-Korporazzjoni għas-Servizzi tal-Ilma.

L-Awtoritá tal-Ippjanar tagħti l-go ahead li l-bini sar sewwa, skond il-pjanti minkejja li ma jkunx hemm bir. Il-Korporazzjoni għas-Servizzi tal-Ilma tagħti l-permess biex il-bini l-ġdid jitqabbad mas-sistema tad-drenaġġ biex imbagħad din il-komunikazzjoni tintuza ħażin: biex fiha jintrema l-ilma tax-xita.

L-awtoritajiet qed jagħlqu għajnejhom u jħallu din il-ħsara li ilha isir snin tibqa’ tirrepeti ruħha.



Il-PN u l-ambjent: l-impjant ta’ Sant Antnin : żball jew sabutaġġ?


Nhar il-Ħadd 7 ta’ Ġunju 2015, il-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni Simon Busuttil qalilna li l-PN ħa diversi żbalji fuq materji ambjentali. Anżi. Żied jgħidilna li jaf li dwar l-ambjent il-PN m’għandux fama tajba. Imma, żied jgħid Simon Busuttil, il-PN tgħallem mill-iżbalji tiegħu u jaf fejn għandu jtejjeb lilu innifsu (Il-Malta Today irrappurtatu jgħid hekk : “He acknowleged the PN’s unfavourable track record on environmental matters  but said that the party had learnt from its mistakes and knew where to improve.”)

Imma, kif diġa għidt, ir-rapport tat-telfa tal-istess PN għall-elezzjoni tal-2013 ma jitkellimx dwar żbalji imma dwar sabutaġġ. Jiġifieri dwar tfixkil. Dan ir-rapport kien iffirmata, fost oħrajn minn Ann Fenech (illum President tal-Kumitat Eżekuttiv tal-PN) u minn Rosette Thake (illum Segretarju Ġenerali tal-PN).

Ikun tajjeb kieku Simon Busuttil jgħidilna liema kienu dawn l-iżbalji li l-Partit Nazzjonalista tgħallem minnhom.

Pereżempju, l-impjant ta’ Sant’ Antnin f’Marsasakala, dan kien każ ta’ żball ambjentali jew każ ta’ sabutaġġ? Mela ejja niftakru ftit minn dak li ġara dwar l-impjant tar-riċiklaġġ tal-iskart f’Sant’ Antnin, Marsaskala.

Il-impjant kif riedu l-Gvern immexxi minn Lawrence Gonzi kien propost li jsir fuq art tal-qies ta’ 45,000 metru kwadru (4.5 hectares). Dik hi l-area tal-impjant ta’ Sant’Antnin.

Meta ġew meqjusa artijiet alternattivi ġew ippreżentati tlett possibilitajiet oħra :  f’Wied Għammieq il-Kalkara, L-Għallies il-Magħtab limiti tan-Naxxar u l-Mara Bengħajsa limiti ta’ Birżebbuġa.

L-art f’Wied Għammieq Kalkara kellha qies ta’ 24,000 metru kwadru (2.4 hectares), madwar nofs ta’ dak li kien meħtieġ .

L-art fl-Għallies, Magħtab limiti tan-Naxxar kellha qies ta’ 20,000 metru kwadru (2 hectares), inqas min-nofs ta’ dak li kien meħtieġ.

L-art fil-Mara, Bengħajsa, limiti ta’ Birżebbuġa kellha qies ta’ 17,000 metru kwadru (1.7 hectares), ħafna inqas min-nofs ta’ dak li kien.

Kull waħda mit-tlett alternattivi kien ferm iżgħar mill-qies tas-sit f’Sant Antnin, u allura kien ovvju li ma kien hemm l-ebda proposta ta’ sit alternattiva għal Sant’ Antnin.  Ta’ l-inqas hekk ried min għażel l-alternattivi.   Qiesu ried li l-impjant isir bil-fors f’Sant’Antnin.

Dan kien żball, jew sabutaġġ? Għidulna ftit. Min għamel l-iżball, inkella min għamel is-sabutaġġ?


ippubblikat fuq iNews l-Erbgħa 10 ta’ Ġunju 2015

A future for our past



The proposal for the setting up of an American University at Marsaskala  as presented  by the government is not one that is sustainable.  DePaul University of Chicago has denied involvement in the selection of the site: it is a responsibility that has to be shouldered exclusively by the government and its advisors.  Whilst the proposal itself may be beneficial, the selected site should be discarded and replaced.

At the time of writing we are aware from media reports that the site at iż-Żonqor in Marsaskala, outside the development zone, was selected by MEPA on the basis of parameters identified by the government. We have been informed that  the government opted for an ODZ site in order to reduce the financial outlay for the project. In fact, 89% of the land is government-owned whilst the remaining 11% belongs to private individuals, a number of whom are well known for their activities in previous years.

This points to a serious shortfall in the reasoning of the government which  apparently considers that the costs that need to be taken into consideration are limited to those of a financial nature. Environmental costs do not seem to be factored in at this stage – except in the form of a nature park sweetener accompanying the proposed destruction of agricultural land. On the other hand, by identifying the site in the political south, the government thinks that it is addressing social considerations as it is trying to imply that this will lead to the generation of employment opportunities in the area.

Employment opportunities will definitely be created both directly by the academic activity of the University and through the presence on the islands of the foreign students who will be attracted here.  These employment opportunities will certainly be a long term benefit for the Maltese economy.

Hopefully, other impacts on the local population will be considered in detail at a later stage when the detailed plans of the project are analysed. However, even at this point it is obvious that the generation of increased traffic will be problematic and will create considerable difficulties for the localities of Ħaż-Żabbar and Marsaskala.

Earlier this week, Alternattiva  Demokratika-The Green Party proposed to the government that instead of considering the site at Żonqor Point in Marsaskala it should look at Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara. This proposal was also reflected in separate comments made by environmental NGOs as well as by Labour MP Marlene Pullicino, who emphasised the need to make use of forts, coastal towers and buildings of huge historical significance which, if adequately restored, could provide much more space than is needed for the campus of this American University.

In addition to Fort Ricasoli, Dr  Pullicino referred to Fort St Leonard,  Fort St Rocco, The Cottonera Lines  and Fort San Salvatore in Vittoriosa.

I understand that there is some reluctance regarding the Fort Ricasoli proposal – currently partly utilised by the film industry, which considers it as an essential backbone of its infrastructure. Whilst this may be the case, unfortunately this use of the Fort has not to date led to any visible improvement on the state of repair of this national treasure.  I am informed that currently  sections of the fort require immediate intervention as they are considered to be in a dangerous state. Information available also indicates that the film industry has been drawing the attention of the authorities for years on end to the state of Fort Ricasoli but unfortunately no action has been taken.

These proposals to utilise Malta’s historical heritage as an alternative to the planned destruction of 90,000 square metres of agricultural land is much more than a proposal to change the location of the American University in Malta. It aims to channel the available investment into regenerating our historical heritage by restoring it and identifying a use of relevance to the 21st century. Using restored buildings appropriately is the best way in which we can protect our historical heritage.

Other countries have been there before us with considerable success.  Many Universities in Europe are situated on a campus consisting of immaculately preserved buildings, combined with state-of-the-art facilities for research, learning and recreation.

All the above Maltese  historical buildings offer easy access to the infrastructural services which will be required on a university campus.

Why proceed with the destruction of agricultural land when the proposal for an American University in Malta can be achieved through creating  a future for our past? This is a unique opportunity which should not be discarded.

published in The Independent on Sunday, 10 May 2015

A complaint to Arriva sent today

This is the text of a complaint sent to Arriva customer care earlier today and copied to the Office of the Prime Minister


To: Arriva Customer Services <>,

Fenech Pace Mikela at OPM <>

Dear Sir/Madam,

I  am filing a complaint regarding the bus service from Kalkara to Valletta this morning. I was on the bus stop at Ix-Xatt this morning at 8.15  with the hope of getting on the 8.30 bus to Valletta. There were already about 20 people on the bus stop, apparently still waiting for the 8 o’clock bus which never arrived.  At 8.35 bus no. 213 to Mater Dei arrived (which was meant to arrive at  8.00) so everyone got on this bus and changed at Paola. At 9.00 we got on another bus from Paola  but the Kalkara bus was nowhere to be seen. Both the 8.00 and 8.30 buses never arrived at Kalkara. This is not my first email to you and I think the situation is utterly disgusting when you boast that our transport service is a Sterling Service. Already 15 months have passed and the situation at Kalkara is still unreliable.

Id-drenaġġ ifur fil-Kalkara



Qabel xejn : għal min ma jafx niddikjara interess fuq is-suġġett tal-lum. Jiena noqgħod il-Kalkara u ilni noqgħod hawn għal dawn l-aħħar tlettax-il sena. 

Il-Kunsill Lokali tal-Kalkara wissa’ lill-Korporazzjoni għas-Servizzi tal-Ilma li ma jistax jibqa’ jissaporti d-drenaġġ ħiereġ fit-triq kull meta tagħmel ix-xita. Ara ir-rapporti fit-Times u l-Independent .

Issa l-Korporazzjoni hi responsabbli għas-sistema tad-drenaġġ għax minn xi snin ilu lil hawn id-Dipartiment tad-Drenaġġ ġie assorbit fil-Korporazzjoni għas-Servizzi tal-Ilma.

Li qed jiġri meta jfur id-drenaġġ fil-Kalkara (kif ukoll f’postijiet oħra), kif spjegajt iktar kmieni din il-ġimgħa hu li hemm numru ta’ binjiet illi m’għandhomx bir kif jirrikjedu r-regolamenti sanitarji. Minflok ma jinġabar fil-bir (li ma jeżistix) l-ilma tax-xita jispiċċa fit-triq jew fid-drenaġġ.

Meta s-sistema tad-drenaġġ ma tlaħħaqx tfur. Fil-każ tal-Kalkara id-drenaġġ ifur Ix-Xatt fejn għal siegħat twal wara li tkun waqfet ix-xita inkunu għadna b’riħa ta’ drenaġġ.

Issa l-Korporazzjoni ghas-Servizzi tal-Ilma għandha responsabbilta dwar dak li qed jiġri għax l-uffiċjali tagħha jawtorizzaw kull kaz ta’ komunikazzjoni ġdida mas-sistema. Fil-fehma tiegħi jonqsu meta jawtorizzaw li komunikazzjoni ġdida sseħħ jekk qabel ma jkunux ivverifikaw li teżisti sistema separata għall-ilma tax-xita.

Pero r-responsabbilta’ mhiex biss tal-Korporazzjoni għas-Servizzi tal-Ilma. Hemm ukoll il-MEPA li minkejja li l-kostruzzjoni ta’ bir għall-ilma tax-xita hi wahda mill-kundizzjonijiet fil-permessi tal-bini dan ma tiverifikax li jkun sar qabel ma toħroġ ċertifkat li l-iżvilupp sar skond  il-permess. Li kieku l-MEPA tagħmel il-verifiki neċessarji postijiet bla bir ma jkunux jistghu jiġu użati għax ma jkunux jistgħu jingħataw is-servizz tal-elettriku u l-ilma mingħajr iċ-ċertifikat tal-MEPA (il-compliance certificate).

Hemm ukoll l-awtoritajiet sanitarji (Id-Dipartiment tas-Saħħa Pubblika) li għandu ukoll l-obbligu permezz tal-Ispetturi Sanitarji li jagħmel il-verifiki. Kull tant professjonalment niltaqa’ ma xi spettur sanitarju jagħmel verifiki ġeneralment wara xi rapport li jkun sar jew minħabba xi tilwima bejn ġirien. Mill-bqija l-ebda verifika waqt li jkun għaddej il-bini biex ikun stabilit li x-xogħol qiegħed isir sewwa.

Il-ħażina u l-ħarsien tal-ilma tax-xita huwa wieħed minn dawk l-oqsma li fih tirrenja l-liġi tal-ġungla f’Malta. Kulħadd jagħmel li jrid u li jogħġbu. Billi l-parti l-kbira tal-bini ġdid illum huwa fil-forma ta’ flats jew maisonettes dawn ġeneralment jinbnew biex jinbiegħu. Min jibnihom ikun irid jonfoq l-inqas biex jaqla’ l-iktar. L-amministrazzjoni pubblika billi ma tivverifika kważi xejn f’dan ukoll saret qaddejja tal-ispekulatur. Hu jonfoq inqas u wara l-kaxxa ta’ Malta terfa’ l-ispejjes minħabba l-problemi li jinqalgħu.

Issa x’ser jigri? Qiesu ma gara xejn ? Id-drenaġġ fil-Kalkara (u f’postijiet ohra) mhux din il-ġimgħa far l-ewwel darba. Ilu s-snin. 

Il-Kalkara tifforma parti minn Distrett Elettorali li minnu jiġi elett il-Prim Ministru Lawrence Gonzi fil-Parlament.

Il-Prim Ministru għandu r-responsabbilta politika li jara li l-amministrazzjoni pubblika tkun ta’ servizz lill-pajjiż. Jista’ (jekk irid) jdur fuq il-Ministru responsabbli għall-MEPA (hu stess), jdur ukoll fuq il-Ministru responsabbli għas-Saħħa (John Dalli) u fuq il-Ministru responsabbli għall-Korporazzjoni għas-Servizzi tal-Ilma (Austin Gatt) u jitlohom jagħtu spjegazzjoni il-għaliex l-awtoritajiet li minnhom huma responsabbli mhumiex jaqdu dmirhom. Forsi ma tafx kif dawn it-tlett Ministri jiċċaqalqu u jaraw li dawk li jitħallsu mit-taxxi jerfgħu r-responabbiltajiet tagħhom.

Forsi l-Gvern ma jibqax jagħtina servizz tal-qamel.