The Malta Independent 7 December 2019, Saturday

Illegal concrete dam blocking Wied Qirda watercourse damaged

Thursday, 14 November 2019, 09:36 Last update: about 22 days ago

The illegal concrete dam that is blocking the watercourse at Wied Qirda, on the outskirts of Zebbug, has been damaged as a result of Tuesday’s weather.

Photos taken yesterday show that the road and dam are slowly being eaten away by the bad weather.

The Malta Independent has flagged the illegality of this structure on multiple occasions, including last year, when Infrastructure Malta laid tarmac over the dam. The concrete dam, constructed to provide access to two residences on the right-hand-side bank of the valley, was built in the mid-2000s. In 2007 it was the subject of an enforcement order which has since been withdrawn, despite the fact that the blockage persists to this very day. In late 2018, Infrastructure Malta laid tarmac over the road running parallel to the valley as part of a project to improve the rural roads in the area. However, eyebrows were raised when the work was extended to include the illegal dam.

However, Infrastructure Malta told this newsroom early in November that the illegal structure will be removed once the road (which was also damaged recently resulting in part of it collapsing) has been repaired. Asked how the occupants of the two residences will be able to access their properties, and who would be paying for any structure built for this purpose, Infrastructure Malta had at the time said that it is “discussing this matter with the Environment and Resources Authority to implement a sustainable alternative to the indicated access, which has existed as part of the adjacent public road for decades. This alternative can take the form of a narrow bridge structure, which would still allow the natural flow of water through the valley without hindering the regeneration of its ecosystem.”

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