Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri together with Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi visited Triq l-Għadira, Kerċem, one of the sites in which a project is being carried out to restore and rebuild rubble walls, together with other works in various valleys in Gozo financed with European funds amounting to more than €10 million.
Minister Camilleri said that the Ministry for Gozo, through the Eco-Gozo Directorate, is in the process of restoring over 25 kilometres of rubble walls throughout Gozo. The Minister stated that this project started at five sites around Gozo—Triq Għajn Abdul, Triq ta’ Ħamimiet, Triq Qasam San Ġorġ, Triq l-Għadira and also Triq tal-Fanal. He mentioned how various extensive works of reconstruction of rubble walls, reaching about four and a half kilometres and, in certain places, with the height of walls reaching over five metres, were carried out.
Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri explained how “this project is considered to be of national importance, in particular in view of the Government’s commitment to transform Gozo into an ecological island and for its contribution to increase the potential of the island’s rainwater also considering that through this project about 12 valleys in Gozo will be rehabilitated”.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that with this project we will continue to preserve the Gozitan landscape, while providing a better environment for farmers and the general public alike. He explained that rubble walls are an important feature in the Gozitan rural landscape. Parliamentary Secretary Zrinzo Azzopardi held that together with the positive visual impact they leave, they play an important role for the preservation of the environment as they prevent soil loss when it rains while leading to better water management.
“These works, together with the rehabilitation of various valleys, will have a positive impact on the environment as well as on the cultural heritage,” said the Parliamentary Secretary.
The project is being funded through measure 4.4 by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2014-2020, which is helping Malta meet its agricultural and environmental goals through the rehabilitation and preservation of biodiversity.
Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri concluded by saying that in the light of all this, the Ministry for Gozo will continue with its work to carry out one project after another for Gozo which is so dear to this government.