A clean-up carried out during this year in a number of valleys resulted in the removal of some 250 tons of illegally dumped waste material as well as invasive plant species. The cleaning and regeneration of the natural environment was carried out by Environment Malta in 16 valleys around the island.
A clean-up of Mistra Valley was started last month, this being one of the 16 valleys around Malta which benefited from being cleaned up. The officer in charge of the valleys section within Environment Malta, Alex Borg, explained that the work in Mistra Valley included removal of swathes of reeds which were contributing to flooding in the area.
“When you visit a valley in a natural area and come across a refirgerator or similar material, the visual impact hits you. Another problem which is of concern is that when it rains, all this material can contribute to block the passage of water and create flooding, both for the roads in the vicinity and also for the nearby fields, and this in turn leads to loss of precious soil.”
Mr Borg pointed out that the regeneration project in Mistra Valley is planned so that the big reeds are removed over a three-year period, and with effect from October a number of indigenous trees and shrubs will be planted to increase the biodiversity in this area.
Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Minister Jose’ Herrera explained that “there are reeds which are part of the locality and we will not be denaturing the environment, so birds which build their nests in these reeds will continue to do so. We are also going to plant indigenous trees and shrubs to rehabilitate the area. All the rubble walls are in a bad state, as can be seen, and all this will be rehabilitated. We have also cleaned up the waste material dumped here.”
Minister Herrera further stated that this project will ensure the return of the salt water habitat in Mistra Bay, which is part of the Natura 2000 site at ix-Xagħra tal-Kortin.
Dr Herrera announced that work will start in the coming weeks on the Marsa Sports Ground canal, for removal of illegally dumped waste material. This, the Minister added, will help to reduce the flooding problem in the area.