Planning for the foreseeable future

Human nature has always been preoccupied with the future. However, at times we tend not to realise that we mould a substantial part of the future through our actions today. Unfortunately, sometimes our actions today and the future we want, point towards completely different directions.

Our future is necessarily a common one, as explained in the 1987 report of the UN Commission on Environment and Development -, the Brundtland report – aptly entitled Our Common Future. Drafted by an international commission led by former Norwegian Socialist Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, this report placed sustainable development on the global discussion platform, emphasising that we are responsible not only for each other’s welfare today but also for that of future generations. We need to consider carefully that our actions today have a considerable impact and can possibly limit the choices that future generations would have to make.

The impact of our behaviour on the climate is one such example. The impact of climate change is causing havoc in weather patterns and consequently also impacting on all areas of human activity. The patterns and intensity of rainfall is unpredictable. Our road infrastructure never coped, and now it is getting worse.

Earlier this week The Guardian reported that the planet has just a five per cent chance of reaching the Paris climate goals. Rather than avoiding warming up by more than 2oC by the end of the century, it is more likely that Mother Earth will heat up to around 5oC beyond the pre-industrial era.

The predicted consequences are catastrophic. Another report published in April this year had informed us that there are worrying signs for Greenland ice sheet which covers 80 percent of its 1.7 million square kilometres surface area: it has been observed melting faster than ever before. On its own, this factor could potentially cause a rise of many meters in sea level – as many as seven metres.

This is certainly not the future we want. Any rise in sea level rise, even if minimal, would threaten the functionability of all coastal areas and facilities. It would also wipe out entire coastal communities and islands worldwide would disappear. It would be a future of climate- change refugees pushed to higher ground by a rising sea-level. This will not only have an impact low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean: it will also hit closer to home.
Take a look at and consider the places along the Maltese coast: Msida, Ta’ Xbiex, Pietá, Sliema, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, San Pawl il-Baħar, Burmarrad, Birżebbuġa, Marsalforn, Xlendi and many more.
Readers will remember the occasional rise in sea-level at Msida. In one such instant – on 11 May last year – the change in sea level was of more than a metre as a resulting flooding the roads along the coast. This phenomenon is known as seiche (locally referred to as “Il-Milgħuba”) and reported in this newspaper under the heading “Phenomenon: sea-water level rises in Msida, traffic hampered.” It also occurs at St George’s Bay in Birżebbuġa – on a small scale but on a regular basis, causing quite a nuisance to car users.

Now this phenomenon only occurs temporarily, yet it still substantially affects traffic movements when it does. Imagine if the rise in sea level rise is of a permanent nature?

Large parts of our coast are intensively developed – with roads and residential properties, as well as substantial sections of the tourism infrastructure and facilities. In addition, there is also the infrastructure of our ports which we have developed as a maritime nation over the centuries. All this points to the need for adequate planning to implement urgent adaptation measures in order to reinforce Malta’s coastal infrastructure. If we wait too long it may be too late.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 6 August 2017

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Paceville Master Plan: greed or need?

paceville-mp-land-use

Land use planning is essentially public control over the use and development of land, so it necessarily follows that it should not be a speculators’ shopping list implemented by the state.

Unfortunately, the Paceville Master Plan is just such a shopping list as it collates together the requirements of nine mega-projects and presents them as a “master plan”. In fact Sandro Chetcuti, on behalf of the Malta Developers’ Association, reacted to the Master Plan by stating that it “ fails to address the possibility of new projects that could involve existing buildings and concentrated too much on nine particular sites.”   Mr Chetcuti’s Association is also feeling excluded.

And the residents have the same feeling; they have been excluded by a master plan which focuses on the interests of business – in particular  the interests of mega-speculators.

Not so long ago, in May 2012, The Social Affairs Committee of Malta’s Parliament  published a 63-page report on Paceville in which it emphasised the fact that right there, in the midst of this entertainment Mecca, there was also  a residential community. The conflicts between these two interests can at times be substantial and yet the Master Plan ignores these conflicts completely. The only residents in which the Master Plan is interested  are those who will purchase  apartments in the new developments.

The five over-arching objectives of the Master Plan emphasise the creation of a development vision which can be described in one word : “Dubai-ification”. Painted in glossy words as “Clear Brand and Identity” , “Access and Connectivity”,  “Planned and Managed Change”, “Quality Place-Making” and “Private-Public Partnerships”, at the end of the day “Dubai-ification” is what the Paceville Master Plan is all about.

The problems currently faced by Paceville are basically no different from those faced by other parts of Malta. Yet the Master Plan document wastes a substantial number of its 234 pages in order to emphasise the obvious. For example, it emphasises that Paceville is dominated by traffic and on-street parking. However, the consultants drawing up the plan then stopped short of proposing – as a preferred option –  measures that would  radically address the area’s dependence on cars. They did not choose the option to create an environment that is not dominated by the car, thus missing an opportunity to eliminate traffic congestion in Paceville that would have had the additional  benefit of improving local air quality.

While the Master Plan consultants went into great detail about issues that are covered in various national environmental policy documents, they did not consider it necessary to examine in any detail the area’s tourism-carrying capacity. The Master Plan does not examine whether it makes sense to keep on encouraging hotel construction in an area that is already saturated with such development. It takes the issue for granted and opts to propose reserving the Paceville coastline for future hotel redevelopment and expansion. This matter calls for some serious consideration, as tourism cannot continue on a never ending expanding trajectory due to the substantial environmental constraints which we face on a daily basis.

The cherry on the cake is the reference to “potential land reclamation” on the Portomaso site. The Master Plan warns that, though relatively shallow, the site lies very close to a Marine Special Conservation Area, a fact which necessitates a very sensitive approach.

The manner in which the Master Plan is presented tries to camouflage its obvious speculator “shopping list” features. Most of the projects indicated have been in the pipeline for years, and for each and every one of them there is a growing list of concerned residents from the whole of Paceville and neighbouring localities. By trying to present the mega-speculators greed as a national need the proposed Master Plan is doing a disservice to the never ending debate on land use planning in Malta.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 9 October 2016

Il-bidla fil-klima hi magħna

climate-change

Nhar il-Ġimgħa li għaddiet rappreżentanti ta’ iktar minn 170 pajjiż, Malta inkluża, inġabru fil-kwartieri ġenerali tal-Ġnus Magħquda fi New York biex jiffirmaw il-ftehim dwar il-klima li intlaħaq fi tmiem is-sena ġewwa Pariġi. Dan il-ftehim għandu jfisser li hemm qbil li kull pajjiż ser jikkontribwixxi lejn soluzzjoni ta’ din il-problema.

Hemm qbil biex jittieħdu l-passi kollha meħtieġa ħalli t-temperatura globali ma togħliex iktar minn bejn 1.5oC  u 2oC fuq it-temperatura globali, kif din kienet fil-bidu tal-perjodu industrijali. Biex dan isir jeħtieġ li jonqsu l-emissjonijiet li qed joriġinaw mill-attivitajiet tal-bniedem u li qed jinġabru fl-atmosfera u jsaħħnu d-dinja. Ewlieni fost dawn il-gassijiet hemm id-diossidju tal-karbonju (CO2) li prinċipalment joriġina mill-ħruq ta’ żjut fossili li nużaw biex niġġeneraw l-elettriku kif ukoll mill-petrol u mid-diesel li jintużaw fil-karozzi u inġenji oħra.

Anke Malta ser tfittex li tnaqqas l-impatti tagħha fuq il-klima u dan billi jkollha politika sostenibbli dwar it-trasport, l-enerġija u l-agrikoltura, fost oħrajn. Irridu nindirizzaw l-impatti tal-klima fuq il-bijodiversità, fuq is-saħħa, fuq it-turiżmu, fuq l-ilma, fuq l-agrikoltura kif ukoll fuq l-infrastruttura marittima.

Kemm is-sena li għaddiet kif ukoll l-ewwel tlett xhur ta’ din is-sena kienu fost l-iktar sħan fl-istorja. It-temp qed jitħawwad. L-istaġuni qed jiġġebbdu u jinbidlu. L-istaġuni tax-xita inbidlu għal kollox b’mod li qed issir ħsara kbira lill-agrikultura kif ukoll lill-ħażna tal-ilma li hi tant essenzjali għal kull forma ta’ ħajja. It-temperatura li qed togħla qed iddewweb is-silġ fil-poli u fuq il-muntanji f’diversi partijiet tad-dinja bil-konsegwenza li l-livell tal-baħar qed jogħla u ser jogħla iktar jekk ma’ jittieħdux miżuri biex inrazznu l-għoli tat-temperatura.

Irridu innaqqsu l-impatti tagħna fuq il-klima bħala pajjiż: irridu innaqqsu l-emissjonijiet kif ukoll il-ħela ta’ riżorsi bħall-ilma u l-elettriku. Jeħtieġilna ukoll li narmu inqas skart kif ukoll li nirriċiklaw iktar. Jekk nagħmlu iktar użu mit-trasport pubbliku ukoll nistgħu inkunu ta’ għajnuna kbira biex Malta tnaqqas il-kontribut tagħha għall-bidla fil-klima.

Irridu nifhmu li l-bidla fil-klima qed tħarbat il-ħajja ta’ kulħadd. Qed tipperikola r-riżorsi li s’issa tipprovdilna b’xejn in-natura. Dan ifisser li filwaqt li kulħadd jintlaqat, l-iktar li jintlaqtu huma l-fqar f’kull rokna tad-dinja. Għax it-tibdil fil-klima iżid il-faqar kullimkien. Dan diġa beda jseħħ.

Il-klima hi parti mill-ġid komuni, hi ta’ kulħadd u hi għal kulħadd. Hu għalhekk ukoll li għandna l-obbligu li kull wieħed minna jagħti sehmu biex l-impatti ta’ pajjiżna jonqsu. Il-ftit impatti tagħna huma importanti daqs il-ħafna impatti ta’ ħaddieħor. Mela niftħu ftit għajnejna għall-ħsara kbira li diġa saret u nagħtu sehemna biex din tonqos. Ma baqax żmien x’jintilef għax il-bidla fil-klima diġa qegħda magħna.

Din is-sena bħala riżultat tal-bidla fil-klima ftit li xejn kellna xita f’Malta. L-effett fuqna ser jinħass l-iktar fuq l-agrikultura u l-ħażniet tal-ilma. Pajjiżi oħra sofrew l-għargħar li kaxkar kull ma sab.

Dawn huma l-effetti li qed jidhru u li diġa huma magħna. Nagħmlu l-parti tagħna biex flimkien ma dak li jirnexxielhom jagħmlu pajjiżi oħra innaqqsu dawn l-impatti u b’hekk titjieb il-qagħda ta’ kulħadd. Għax il-klima hi ġid komuni tal-umanità kollha: hi ta’ kulħadd u hi għal kulħadd.

Il-latrini pubbliċi fil-Parlament

public convenience

Il-ħin allokat għall-mistoqsijiet parlamentari tal-bieraħ ġie użat kollu dwar il-latrini pubbliċi.

Il-Ministru tat-Turiżmu Edward Zammit Lewis mhux sodisfatt bil-kwalità ta’ servizz fil-latrini pubbliċi. Irid itejjeb il-kwalità tal-prodott tat-turiżmu. Ġustament iħares lejn is-servizz fil-latrini pubbliċi bħala wieħed importanti. Sa hawn Zammit Lewis m’hu jgħid xejn ħażin. Avolja jekk irid jgħid kollox għandu jgħid li, f’ħafna każi, s-servizz hu ferm aħjar milli kien fil-passat. Dan minkejja li l-Kunsilli m’għandhomx biżżejjed flus biex jimpjegaw latrine attendant kontinwu ma kull latrina pubblika, kemm għat-tindif meħtieġ kif ukoll għas-sorveljanza kontra l-ħela tal-ilma u l-vandaliżmu.

Meta bdew jagħafsuh biex ikun ftit iktar ċar Zammit Lewis qal li għad ma hemmx deċiżjonijiet. Imma qed ikun ikkunsidrat kif ikun involut is-settur privat f’dak li jissejjaħ PPP (private-public-partnership). Kif? Zammit Lewis qal li għadu qed jara l-options kollha. S’issa imma għad m’hemmx deċiżjonijiet. Imma l-Kunsilli Lokali ser ikunu involuti, qal il-Ministru. L-ewwel effettwati, skond il-Ministru Zammit Lewis ser ikunu dawk fiċ-ċentru tal-pajjiż.

Il-problema tal-latrini pubbliċi hi li l-Kunsilli Lokali huma mistennija li jagħtu servizz imma m’għandhomx il-flus biex jagħtu dan is-servizz. Hemm ukoll il-problema tal-vandaliżmu. Il-pagi huma l-ispiża l-kbira fil-każ tal-latrini pubbliċi, f’xi kazi (b’mod partikolari fis-sajf) hu meħtieġ il-presenza ta’ persuna (attendent) għal sittax-il siegħa kuljum jew iktar, jiġifieri tnejn min-nies għal sebgħat ijiem fil-ġimgħa ma’ kull latrina pubblika. Fil-prattika dan biss ifisser paga ta’ 4 persuni fis-sena full time ma kull latrina pubblika. Dan qabel ma biss tibda tikkunsidra spejjes oħra.

Li l-Gvern joħroġ b’inizjattiva ħalli jtejjeb il-kwalità tas-servizz ikun pass tajjeb dejjem sakemm ma jitfax iktar piz finanzjarju fuq il-Kunsilli Lokali.

Il-proposti tal-Gvern s’issa għadhom mhux magħrufa. Għax Zammit Lewis qagħad attent li ma jgħid xejn f’dan is-sens. Allura irridu nistennew u naraw.

In Tourism – small is beautiful too

Villa del Porto Kalkara

First published in 1973, Ernst Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful – economics as if people mattered has always presented a challenge to politicians and economic planners. It contrasts to, and in many instances it actually is, the direct antithesis of the “economies of scale” and as such it is often discarded by those who dream of quick results.

Schumacher, an economist by training, had one specific message: the promotion of people-centred economics. Our economics are profit-focused, with decisions being constantly made on profitability criteria, rather than on human needs. People should come before profits.

Human needs as well as environmental impact should be factored in at the drawing-board stage of all economic decisions. Reading through plans and strategies on the development of tourism in Malta over the years, one inevitably reaches the conclusion that these plans and strategies are focused on hotels, as if nothing else mattered. Tourism is, however, much more than hotels and the hotel industry.

It is only fairly recently that some thought is being given to boutique hotels and agri-tourism: alternative, small-scale tourism opportunities.  Yet much more needs to be done if we are to move along the path of sustainable tourism which, whilst being practically harmless environmentally, can be of considerable benefit not just to our economy but also to our families, in particular those in small communities.

Earlier this week, I was alerted by residents in Lija to an application submitted to MEPA [PA2822/15] to convert a large townhouse in a residential area into a boutique hotel. This proposed hotel would have nine bedrooms with ancillary facilities and it covers a total area of 1,110 square metres, including a garden. When finished, it could cater for a maximum of twenty guests.

Being small, such a boutique hotel would  fit in easily in any of our towns or villages. Its impact would be compatible with that generated by three or four families in the community. Being generally family-run helps considerably to give a human face to this tourism outlet as well as offering excellent service.

However the local residents are  worried about the compatibility of this development with the residential nature of the area. Their worries are not just about the impact of the hotel’s services but more on the possible spinoffs such as whether the bar and restaurant, as well as the swimming pool  – to be constructed in what is currently the garden – would be open to people who are  not actually staying in the hotel. The residents are worried about noise pollution well into the silent hours, the generation of increased traffic and subsequent parking problems – problems they associate with such spin-off activities.

The residents cannot be blamed for their concerns because no one has explained what the practical operational limits of boutique hotels will be – and this is because there are no MEPA guidelines on the subject. The various applications for the provision of boutique hotels that MEPA has processed in the recent past are considered within existing general policies. Likewise, perusal of the Malta Tourism Authority’s website does not reveal any guidelines to help prospective developers of boutique hotels navigate the relatively unchartered waters of such an activity in a residential area.

A number of local councils are similarly concerned because, although they understand and appreciate the benefits to the local economy of encouraging the use of large properties as boutique hotels they are apprehensive about the collateral damage to community life. Large townhouses as well as historical buildings in our towns and villages can be given a new life by being converted to boutique hotels but great care must be taken to ensure that this development is not driven by economics alone. It needs to be community driven and local councils in particular need to be partners in this drive to develop an untapped area of sustainable tourism.

If handled properly, it is potentially a win-win situation but the concerns of the residential communities must be addressed immediately. If this is done, tourism will take a gigantic step forward as it will develop a human face.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 23 August 2015

Boutique Hotels f’Malta u l-impatt fuq ir-residenti

Malta Tourism Authority

 

Qed ikellmuni residenti minn lokalitajiet diversi. Uħud minnhom huma inkwetati li ħdejhom ser tfaqqas boutique hotel.

Il-biża’ ta’ dawn ir-residenti hi li ser ikollhom invażjoni tal-ħajja kwieta tagħhom fl-irħula żgħar tagħna.

Qaluli li jibżgħu li dawn il-lukandi żgħar ser jiftħu l-faċilitajiet tagħhom bħal swimming pool, bar u restaurant għal persuni li ma jkunux residenti fil-boutique hotel.

Jiena naħseb li dan hu improbabbli li jsir għax kieku kellu jsir hekk dawn il-boutique hotels fl-irħula jitilfu l-karatteristika prinċipali tagħhom: post fil-kwiet. Post il-bogħod mill-istorbju. Post ta’ mistrieħ fejn l-atmosfera hi waħda ta’ familja u mhux waħda kummerċjali.

Anke l-movimenti dwar xiri tal-ikel, inkella ta’ skart fil-boutique hotels m’għandux ikun wieħed straordinarju. Għandu jkun daqs, jew ftit iktar minn dak ta’ familja medja f’Malta.

Qed ngħid dan għax id-daqs indikat lili tal-boutique hotels ippjanati f’Malta mhux wieħed kbir. Hu fil-fatt kompatibbli mal-binjiet ħdejhom fl-irħula tagħna. Ta’ l-inqas il-parti l-kbira minnhom.

Il-boutique hotels għandna bżonnhom f’Malta għax dawn jistgħu jifirxu x-xogħol konness mat-turiżmu fl-irħula tagħna u għandhom jinkoraġixxu tip differenti ta’ turiżmu. Mhux biss. Jistgħu jkunu ta’ għajnuna kbira biex ikun riabilitat bini qadim mitluq kif ukoll jistgħu jservu ta’ spinta biex nieħdu ħsieb aħjar bini storiku fl-irħula tagħna li spiċċa bla użu.

Peró jkun tajjeb li l-Kunsilli Lokali jiċċaqalqu u flimkien mal-MEPA u l-Awtorità tat-Turiżmu jfasslu linji gwida flessibli dwar il-boutique hotels li tista’ isserraħ ras kulħadd. Għax sfortunatament, jekk tfittex fuq il-website tal-Awtorità tat-Turiżmu, inkella fuq il-website tal-MEPA ma issib xejn.

Biex inkun ċar, ma nistax ngħid li kull proposta ta’ boutique hotel f’Malta ser tkun bla impatti fuq ir-residenti. Imma jekk noqgħodu attenti nistgħu nassiguraw li dan ikun hekk. Forsi ma tafx kif għal darba l-MEPA ixxaqleb lejn ir-residenti!

Mill-bqija kull min jixtieq għajnuna dwar xi applikazzjoni pendenti fil-lokalità tiegħu dwar boutique hotels u l-impatti fuq ir-residenti jista’ jikkuntattjani u safejn hu possibli nagħti l-għajuna tiegħi biex ikunu iċċarati l-affarijiet.

L-email tiegħi hu cacopardocarm@gmail.com

Il-pont taċ-Ċiniżi bejn Malta u Għawdex

Chinese bridge

 

It-Times u l-Independent irrappurtaw li ġie konkluż l-istudju taċ-Ċiniżi dwar il-pont bejn Malta u Għawdex.  Hu stmat li biex dan jinbena jiġi jiswa’ biljun euro bħala spiża kapitali kif ukoll spiża addiżżjonali ta’ madwar €4 miljuni fis-sena għaż-żamma tiegħu.

L-ispiża finanzjarja hi kbira, pero din mhux l-unika spiża għax magħha trid tiżdied ukoll l-ispiża ambjentali u l-ispiża soċjali.

Qabel l-elezzjoni kellna fil-media l-proposta l-oħra ta’ mina taħt il-baħar liema proposta diġa ktibt dwarha diversi drabi. Meta qiest xogħol simili li kien ser isir fid-Danimarka jiena kont ikkalkulajt li mina bħal din kellha tiġi tiswa’ bejn €1 biljun u €1.5 biljun, bejn sitta u għaxar darbiet l-istima ta’ kelliema tal-Gvern immexxi mill-PN. Din il-mina trid tiffaċċa ukoll problemi ġeoloġiċi u area taflija kbira fil-Fliegu. Dan apparti bejn miljun u nofs u żewġ miljuni kubi ta’ blat li jkun jeħtieġ li jitqatta’.

Hemm il-possibilita teknika ta’ diversi proposti oħra.

Il-qagħda attwali, jiġifieri li Għawdex hu maqtugħ għalih bħala gżira hemm bosta li jikkonsidrawh bħala ta’ benefiċċju (asset) filwaqt li oħrajn iqiesu dan il-fatt bħala problema (liability).

Għawdex bħala gżira għandha diversi karatteristiċi li jagħmluha unika bħala destinazzjoni. Għawdex b’kuntatt dirett u permanenti bħall-bridge jew mina ma jkun xejn differenti għat-turist minn kwalunkwe raħal f’Malta.  Dan jista’ jeffettwa sostanzjalment l-industrija tat-turiżmu b’mod partikolari l-lukandi f’Għawdex.

Diversi li ġejjin u sejrin bejn Malta u Għawdex iħarsu b’mod differenti lejn in-nuqqas ta’ aċċess faċli bejn il-gżejjer. Għalihom is-serviżż tal-vapuri eżistenti mhux aċċettabbli, u għandhom raġun.

Is-soluzzjoni għal dan kollu mhux li noqgħodu nfajjru l-proposti fl-ajru. Is-soluzzjoni tinstab f’analiżi tal-alternattivi kollha. Analiżi li trid tindirizza l-impatti kollha biex id-diskussjoni pubblika tkun waħda infurmata. L-impatti li jridu jkunu indirizzati huma dawk ekonomiċi, ambjentali u soċjali. Jinkludu mhux biss l-ispiża meħtieġa imma ukoll l-impatt fuq l-ekonomija Għawdxija, kif ukoll l-impatti ambjentali fuq l-art u l-baħar, ewlenin fosthom dawk viżivi kif ukoll dawk ekoloġiċi. L-impatti soċjali fuq Għawdex tal-proposti differenti jeħtieġ li jkunu indirizzati b’mod metikoluż.

Għandna bżonn soluzzjoni li tkun waħda sostenibbli. Biex dan isir irridu nagħżlu dik il-proposta li ssaħħaħ l-ekonomija Għawdxija filwaqt li ftit li xejn tagħmel ħsara ambjentali u soċjali.

Nistennew l-informazzjoni kollha li tkun pubblika. Anke ir-rapport tal-pont Ċiniż għandu jkun wieħed pubbliku. S’issa għadu m’huwiex pubbliku għax huma l-gazzetti biss li rawh.

Meta naraw dan kollu imbagħad tkun tista’ issir diskussjoni serja.

 

Ara ukoll fuq dan il-blog:

The right link that remains missing. 12 ta’ Frar 2012

Għawdex Tagħna lkoll. 16 ta’ Ġunju 2013.

 

Terrimoti, tsunami, u l-protezzjoni ċivili f’Malta

times.tsunami.010914

Il-bieraħ il-gazzetti online kellhom storja komuni. F’riċerka li saret bejn akkademiċi mill-Universita’ ta’ Portsmouth flimkien ma akkademiċi md-Dipartiment tal-Ġografija tal-Universita’ ta’ Malta ikkonkludew li fil-passat imbiegħed Malta kienet soġġetta għall-effett ta’ tsunami, riżultat ta’ terrimoti li seħħew madwarna.

Mewġ ta’ mhux inqas minn 4 metri għoli jidher li ħalla effett f’żoni sa 20 metru il-fuq mil-livell tal-baħar. Mewġ b’veloċita’ ikbar minn 30 kilometru fis-siegħa ikaxkar kull ma jsib quddiemu.

Jidher li r-riċerka indikat il-kosta li tħares lejn il-grigal (North-East) bħala li l-iktar li kienet effettwata: mill-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa sa Marsakala u possibilment Marsaxlokk u Birżebbuga ukoll. Għawdex hemm Marsalforn,

Issa l-kosta ta’ Malta b’faċċata tħares lejn il-grigal hi l-iktar populata, bil-bini jasal kważi sal-baħar. Hi ukoll iż-żona li fiħa l-parti l-kbira tal-infrastruttura turistika kif ukoll il-power station ta’ Delimara.

Li Malta hi esposta għal dan il-periklu naturali mhux xi ħaġa li nafuha illum. Imma li illum hemm dan l-istudju konkluż forsi jkun hemm ftit min jiftaħ għajnejh dwar il-ħtieġa li nifhmu illi d-Dipartiment għall-Protezzjoni Ċivili jeħtieġ iktar riżorsi u nies imħarrġa biex il-pajjiż ikunu ippreparat għal dan il-periklu naturali. Periklu li jista’ jkun fuqna fil-qrib, u jista’ jkun fuqna fil-bogħod. M’hu magħruf minn ħadd il-meta. Imma jiġi meta jiġi, bħala pajjiż s’issa m’aħniex ippreparati.

 

Ara ukoll fuq dan il-blog

29 t’April 2013: Malta u l-iżbroff tal-vulkan Marsilii.

Malta fid-dlam: Konrad u Zammit Lewis fejnhom?

where is Konrad

Wara li fil-lejl ta’ bejn it-Tlieta 12 u l-Erbgħa 13 ta’ Awwissu ma kellniex elettriku, uħud għal ħin qasir u oħrajn għal ħin itwal huwa tajjeb li nitkellmu bil-kalma dwar dak li ġara.

L-uffiċjali tal-Korporazzjoni Enemalta tkellmu mal-istampa u qalu li s’issa ma jirriżultax li l-ħsara  kienet b’xi mod konsegwenza ta’ xi ħaġa li għamlet il-Korporazzjoni jew l-impjegati tagħha.

Nistennew mela ħalli naraw kif seħħ l-inċident.

Ovvjament l-inċident hu assoċjat ma difett li irriżulta fil-cables deħlin fid-Distribution Centre tal-Marsa.  Il-bieraħ rajt xi ritratti interessanti online dwar dawn il-cables imma illum dawn donnhom għosfru. Ma nistax insibhom. Bħalma l-anqas ma nista’ nsib kummenti interessantissimi dwar dawn ir-ritratti li taw spjegazzjoni li tista’ tagħmel ħafna sens dwar x’seta’ wassal għall-inċident.

Min jaf forsi jerġgħu jitfaċċaw dawn l-imberkin ritratti.

Inċident dejjem jista’ jiġri lil kulħadd. Minnu tipprova titgħallem. Ankè jekk f’xi ħin jirriżulta illi sar xi żball oħxon x’imkien.

X’tgħallimna?

L-iktar lezzjoni ovvja li suppost nitgħallmu darba għal dejjem hi li m’aħniex ippreparati. Mhux biss il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta li damet ħafna ma ipprovdiet l-elettriku mill-ġdid lil kull min kien jeħtieġu għal kważi 24 siegħa teħtieġ titgħallem, imma ukoll l-Ajruport Internazzjonali ta’ Malta (MIA).

Il-ħtija tal-MIA hi kbira u l-effetti fuq it-turiżmu huma kbar ukoll. Il-bieraħ wara nofsinnhar l-MIA għamlet apoloġija pubblika u wegħdet li ma terġax. Dan mhux biżżejjed. Avolja l-MIA illum il-ġurnata hi f’idejn is-settur privat xorta għandha l-obbligu li tkun ippreparata. MIA li tgħaffeġ tagħmel il-ħsara lit-turiżmu, ħsara li mhiex żgħira u li ma titkejjilx bl-euros. Hi ħsara lir-reputazzjoni. Ir-reputazzjoni tibnija bil-mod imma titlifha f’ħakka t’għajn.

X’ser jagħmel il-Ministru tat-Turiżmu? Ser jinvestiga x’wassal biex l-MIA ma kienitx ippreparata tant li għal xi ħin kellu jagħlaq l-airport?

Nistennew lill-Ministri Konrad Mizzi u lil Edward Zammit Lewis għax bħalissa ma issibhomx b’nemes. Għandhom ħafna x’jispjegaw.

Attrazzjoni turistika: Malta fid-dawl tax-xemgħa

candlelight2

 

Hemm ħtieġa urġenti li nitgħallmu nkunu pożittivi. Ankè minn inċident serju bħall-ħsara li żviluppat fil-Power Station fil-lejl ta’ bejn it-Tlieta 12 u l-Erbgħa 13 t’Awwissu hemm ħafna x’nitgħallmu.

Malta fi dlam ċappa jew Malta fid-dawl tax-xemgħa?

Flok tisħet id-dlam mhux aħjar tixgħel xemgħa, forsi nkunu nistgħu nirreklamaw lil Malta bħala a candlelight destination. Malta romantika. Inkella, kif tista’ tmur lura fiż-żmien waqt li tkun membru tal-Unjoni Ewropeja?

Speċi ta’ Burkina Faso fil-Mediterran. Tistħajlek qiegħed f’Ouagadougou fil-kwiet, fis-sliem, serħan il-moħħ u fi dlam ċappa.

Problema waħda biss kien hemm. Jidher li bħala pajjiż m’aħniex ippreparati  għal dawn l-inċidenti.

Il-Marsa, Ħal-Qormi, Ħaż-Żebbuġ, Is-Siġġiewi u postijiet oħra, dal-għodu l-Erbgħa kien għad ma kienx hemm provista ta’ elettriku. Fis-seklu 21 dan m’huwiex aċċettabbli.

L-anqas ma huwa aċċettabbli li l-unika airport tagħna – dak tal-Gudja –  li għal xi ħin matul il-lejl għalaq, m’għandux pjan ta’ kontinġenza f’każ li ma jkollux provista diretta tal-elettriku.

L-inċident fil-power station hu serju ħafna. Li l-Korporazzjoni Enemalta iddum ma tirrimedja hu serju ukoll. Imma li l-MIA jkollha tagħlaq l-airport huwa ta’ gravita’ kbira. L-ebda pożittivita’ ma tista’ tirrimedja għal din il-ħsara kbira.

Hemm ħafna mistoqsijijiet li jeħtieġu tweġiba immedjata.

Il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta trid tispjega dwar xi programm ta’ maintenance għandha għall-impjanti kollha li topera. Trid tispjega x’miżuri ħadet u x’miżuri qed tieħu biex tantiċipa l-ħsara, kif ukoll għaliex il-ħsara tal-lejl li għadda ma kienitx antiċipata.

Fil-waqt li naċċetta li l-ħsara tista’ tiżviluppa f’daqqa mingħajr ma jkun possibli li tidentifika din il-ħsara minn kmieni jrid ikun ċar x’għamlet u x’qed tagħmel l-Korporazzjoni Enemalta biex tantiċipa.

Huwa importanti ukoll li l-Korporazzjoni Enemalta tkun kapaċi tirrimedja f’ħin qasir kull ħsara li tista’ tiżviluppa u dan għax din il-ħsara lill-pajjiż tiswielu ħafna. Tiswa’ mhux biss fi flus imma tiswa’ ħafna iktar f’reputazzjoni ħażina li tagħmel ħsara kbira fit-tul lill-pajjiż kollu.

Ma nistgħux inkunu l-Burkina Faso tal-Mediterran.

Hemm bżonn ukoll li l-Airport Internazzjonali ta’ Malta (MIA) jispjega għaliex kien neċessarju li għal xi ħin jingħalaq l-ajruport  b’diversi ajruplani jinżlu f’ Catania, Trapani jew Palermo.  Għaliex l-MIA ma kelliex aċċess għal provista alternattiva tal-elettriku? Mela veru li f’idejn il-privat l-airport flok mar il-quddiem mal-lura?

L-impatt tal-egħluq tal-ajruport għamel u ser jagħmel ħsara kbira lir-reputazzjoni ta’ dan il-pajjiż. Inutli li l-Awtorita tat-Turiżmu tonfoq il-miljuni biex tirreklama lill-Malta għax ir-reklam tal-Korporazzjoni Enemalta u l-MIA jinnewtralizzhom kollha.

Fid-dawl (jew fid-dlam) ta’ dan kollu kif tista’ tkun pożittiv?

L-inkompetenza u d-delettantiżmu fit-tmexxija ta’ dan il-pajjiż fil-livelli kollha tiegħu qed teqirdu ftit ftit.