Għadira Bay is earmarked for a 30 metre beach extension by Projects Malta and as expected Minister Konrad Mizzi used bombastic rhetoric to describe the proposal. According to him the project will leave a legacy in turning Ghadira Bay into a top European beach.
I wonder what legacy is Minister Mizzi referring to here? And who is going to benefit from it? Will the general public be benefitting from the extension? Unfortunately I suspect that this will only add to more exploitation for private businesses and will suffocate this beautiful bay by the addition of unsustainable crowds of visitors.
There are other issues of concern that emerge with this proposal. Firstly the proposed beach reclamation should be studied very carefully before being implemented. Any short sighted cosmetic decisions risk doing more damage than good in the long run. The environment could be damaged irreversibly if not done in full consideration of the marine creatures and plants surrounding it.
With reclamation we could also see a change in the natural landscape, this in itself could be counterproductive because it can cause more erosion to unstable land extensions that are very expensive to maintain. The extension will also increase traffic congestion and pollution during Summer, a problem which is already evident in Għadira.
Both the PN and PL are only concerned on how to facilitate parking for private cars. They ignore the negative impacts that this could have on the Għadira Nature Reserve and the other natural areas surrounding it. More congestion will reduce the quality of life and we should really look at other ways to tackle transportation.
The focus should be put on increasing the frequency of public transport in the area, that is properly linked with Park and Ride facilities. If we really want to invest in an efficient public transport link we will automatically reduce pollution and avoid wasting any public money in useless parking lots and roads that will only delay and escalate the problem. The money should be invested in the regeneration of the promenade that has been long neglected.
We have a tendency to redevelop our natural areas to make it seem as a necessity where in reality it only leads to further destruction. If we really want to leave a legacy our priorities should instead be turned to the preservation of Għadira as a nature reserve in the interest of future generations.
AD Public Relations Officer