Balzan: AD presents candidate and discusses flood mitigation measures

In a press conference in Balzan, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party spoke on the need to have suitable flood mitigation measures in the locality. AD also presented its local council candidate for Balzan, Andre` Vella.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “In its current tour of localities, AD is once again speaking about the need to address an issue which is causing inconvenience to residents and which is not being given the importance it deserves by authorities. Our local council candidates put residents’ quality of life on the top of their agenda. Andre` Vella is our candidate for Balzan, and residents have been speaking to him about problems in the locality, one of the most prominent being flooding in the rainy season. The election of Andre Vella will help ensure that residents’ quality of life is on top of the local council’s agenda”.

Andre Vella, AD Balzan local council candidates said: “The residents in Balzan deserve better. The flooding problem has been with us for ages, and the government has not addressed the problem. The local council had planned to build a reservoir to collect rain water, but it never materialised over a land dispute with the Good Shepard sisters. The Balzan Valley Flood Relief Project dates back to 1997 and the rainwater culverts did not eliminate the flooding problem. The Storm Water Relief system promised to build an underground tunnel between Mosta and Msida but it is still in a state of uncertainty. Despite these efforts, last year the foul smelling flooding problem was even greater as we remember cars floating in Balzan Valley. This calls for an urgent flooding mitigation strategy”.

Carmel Cacopardo AD Spokesman for Sustainable Development and Local Government said that as a result of Climate Change problems caused by heavy rainfall and the resulting flooding will get worse in the years to come. When the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy was drawn up unfortunately it did not focus on local impacts. Local Councils as well as the Regions which have been recently set up as a result of the recent amendments to Local Council legislation where not considered adequately. The presence of AD in Local Councils will serve to address this deficit by putting in practice the maxim that on environmental issues one should “Think Global but act Local.” The Climate Change Adaptation Strategy needs to be given a local and regional dimension: different measures need to be taken at different localities/regions. At Balzan and the surrounding localities the impacts of overdevelopment throughout the years needs to be addressed urgently. 
Carmel Cacopardo concluded by emphasising that channelling action on Climate Change Adaptation to localities and the regions would in addition to increasing the players on climate change action in Malta serve to create the foundations for more action regional involvement in disaster preparedness.