Smoke at Il-Ballut ta’ Wied Hazrun
A reader writes:
I have just contacted the ERA to report cases of burnings with thick black smoke and toxic odour which has been going on for some weeks, on and off, at the area known as Ballut ta’ Wied Hazrun, Limits of Rabat - an environmentally sensitive zone located in a valley outside Rabat.
The Ballut ta’ Wied Hazrun (the holm oak trees of Wied Hazrun) is a Natura 2000 protected area.
The smoke is a great inconvenience to the farming people living and working here, and is causing air pollution, a matter of concern in terms of public health and environment. The purpose of the burns in such an area is unclear.
In the early 1990s, the Ballut ta’ Wied Hazrun had already suffered irreversible damage in burnings which at the time was specifically directed at the holm oak trees and the case had been taken up by high authorities in Malta.
Today, I spoke to Mr. Stanley Gatt at the ERA, who was polite and cooperative and who assured me that he will inspect the area today.
I believe that the authority should establish what is the purpose of the ongoing burnings and what materials are being used in the burns.