Monday, March 29, 2010

Extract from Birzebbuga Local Council Website

Below is an extract from the Birzebbuga Local Council Website. It gives a clear indication of the problems that Birzebbuga is faced with. It also gives some insight into the nostalgia and loss felt by the residents. Finally one is given an idea what the mayor's wish for the town is - although this is quite a vague, a notion rather than a proposal.

" The Mayor of Birzebbuga is Joseph Farrugia... he has lived in Birzebbuga all his life and he has seen this once small seaside village change the what it is now.

As a boy he can remember Birzebbuga as a lovely seaside village,... As time passed Birzebbuga began to be developed.

It first started with British Petroleum who built a huge fuel installation, which has become part of Enemalta Corporation. This was followed by the naval station at Kalafrana, and then the Air Force Base at Hal-Far. Since then we now have the underground fuel installation at Wied Dalam; gas tanking at Qajjanze (northern Birzebbuga); Malta International Airport 32.End runway which starts from the southeast of Birzebbuga, the Malta Freeport and, finally the Power Station.

Till now every Maltese Government we have had has tried to create even more industry and facilities on this southern side of Malta, despite the ever-increasing level of pollution levels. I do not blame any of these governments because the intention was always to create jobs. No one foresaw that we would be faced with an ever increasing level of pollution that these accidents industries, including installations have created.

The petrol tanks...are surrounded by residential homes and the fumes, which leak into the environment lead to sickness and nausea, besides the threat of living very close to a time bomb.

The flight path of Malta International Airport is directly over the town, and aircraft fly in all day and all night, with their approach being very low. This creates, not only noise pollution, for the whole town, but the residents living in the flight path suffer from lack of sleep and continual disturbance.

The Freeport was built to encourage trade and industry. It created jobs and gives security to many people. Once again, it was built in a residential area, albeit opposite has created the coastline. In fact, the site used was the Kalafrana naval station. The pollution this has created is excessive noise at night with total disregard for the residents, especially when containers are either dropped or banged together; the generators, which are used for power, and sea pollution, again regardless of the fact that Birzebbuga is a seaside resort with its own hotel.

The Power Station was built to provide electricity to the southern part of Malta. The pollution this creates is one of black dust emissions, which fills the air and covers the houses with black dust.

Many of the residents, especially the children, suffer from asthma and bronchial related illnesses because of the excessive air pollution. They also suffer from lack of concentration at school due to being distributed at night by both air craft and Freeport.

Today, Birzebbuga has endured a great deal of damage to its way of life. Mr. Farrugia that it is not enough to compensate the residents by building of a new road, which will not benefit anyone, or planting trees which will have no effect on their lives. Drastic action is needed to be taken to solve this problem of pollution in order to give the residents a better quality of life and a cleaner environment for the benefit of the children.

It is the Mayor’s wish that the people of Birzebbuga who have lost entirely the clean environment, which the old folk used to enjoy, will be compensated in such a way that benefits them for the rest of their lives. The Mayor, and his fellow Councillors acknowledge very seriously that what Birzebbuga has lost can never be regained, but they can save what has not been lost and which is still good. "

taken from:

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