The Malta Independent on Sunday

Protecting Balluta valley


It seems that, as with most areas in Malta, the only open views soon to be left to admire on this small island will be the sea views from the top of high-rise buildings which are being proposed for developmen­t.

At the rate at which things are going, most of the countrysid­e, garigue and valleys are being slowly eroded and making way for high-rise constructi­on and other property developmen­ts.

A case in point is Balluta valley in St Julian’s. Way back in 2011, it was announced that this valley was scheduled as an area of ecological importance. But one cannot help noticing after five years that the amount of gigantic structures rising over this valley is killing not only the splendid views but also damaging the flora and fauna. Not only do the building structures cover most of the valley but also wild creepers and wild plants have covered the carob and olive trees, bay laurels, rosemary and pyramidal orchids, among other floral species.

It seems that this valley has been abandoned and left to the devices of unscrupulo­us devel- opers and no concrete action has or is being taken to protect what is left of it. Of all the eulogies to schedule such a valley, perhaps the authoritie­s would consider it high time to act decisively and not allow more concrete structures to flourish. The NGOs, on their part could also focus some of their attention on this valley and try their best to save what is left of it.

One suggestion that comes to mind is to first clean the valley from the deadly creepers and other weeds that are wreaking havoc on both the flora and fauna and also on gardens of residences overlookin­g the valley, especially those in Fabri Lane. Another suggestion is to open a narrow footpath from Balluta Bay (from the fields near the public convenienc­e) up along Balluta valley and on to Birkirkara Road. This path would make a pleasant countrysid­e walk and another way to reach the same road. This would also create more value added to what is left of this ‘green lung’ in an already densely built area. Anthony Zarb Dimech

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