The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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Possible Solution for Birkirkara flooding problems in the pipeline

Malta Independent Saturday, 25 June 2005, 00:00 Last update: about 11 years ago

The Resources and Infrastructure Ministry is working on a proposal which could potentially solve the chronic flooding problems that affect the Naxxar, Attard and Birkirkara areas, among others.

Minister Ninu Zammit announced the project yesterday during an on-site inspection of cleaning work being carried out in Qannotta Valley, on the outskirts of Wardija. At the moment the ministry is drafting a proposal which it will be presenting to the EU for funding. The general idea is to develop large reservoirs in strategic areas which will be able to contain the rainfall during heavy rain storms, preventing the flooding of certain roads which are notorious for these sort of problems.

The minister connected the project with the work carried out at Wardija and Attard this year and also with similar clearing work carried out last year in a number of valleys stretching over four kilometres. He said that these valleys, which had been abandoned and left to accumulate sludge, debris and soil over the years, are mostly interconnected and converge on strategic catchment areas. When they are blocked, floodwater is forced through other areas such as roads, cultivated fields and even inhabited areas – as happened in Qormi and Marsa during the 2003 floods.

However, the clearing work at Wardija is not only intended to tackle these problems but also to give back to the area’s farmers, and to those members of the public who want to enjoy the countryside more, greater access to the beautiful natural setting of the area, Mr Zammit pointed out.

With this in mind, footpaths are being built in tandem with the restoration of certain bridges. In addition, as has been done further down the valley in the Salina area, the work includes the building of retaining walls which will act as dams. The water trapped in these “dams” eventually seeps into the ground, replenishing the aquifer.

The Qannotta valley stretches over one kilometre and the work should be completed in the next two months. It is being carried out entirely by Works Division employees, and certain equipment which was previously rented has now been purchased by the department.

Other projects planned for the summer months include the Irmiedi in Attard, Wied il-Qlejja, on the outskirts of Mosta, Wied L-Isqof, on the outskirts of Buskett tal-Virtu and Is-Sewda Valley near Qormi.

This is work which should have been carried out over the past 30 years, the minister pointed out, adding that since the clearing work started, a task force has been set up to maintain the valleys that have been cleaned already.

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