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NGOs appalled by authorities inaction on Nadur cemetery

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NGOs appalled by authorities inaction on Nadur cemeteryThe NGOs, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, Koperattiva Agrikola Ghawdxija Gozitano and Nature Trust (Malta) have said they are appalled as to how the authorities have been treating the Nadur Cemetery case.

The NGOs added that the long delays in the decision of the Appeals board, while the development continues, simply show that the citizen is not a priority in such cases and the rights of farmers who are concerned about the impact of this development are falling of deaf ears. The way this case has been dealt with shows that the ECO Gozo initiative which Government has been trumpeting, is no more than a cosmetic exercise, while unsustainable development gets the go-ahead despite all protests.

The livelihood of twelve farming families depends on the 100 tumoli of land that will be affected by large-scale excavation of the cemetery site. Furthermore some 5000 trees may end up dying, parched of water – highly ironic when the 34U campaign is trying to plant trees in Malta.

The case goes back to the 5th of June 2007 (World Environment day) when Mepa approved the construction of a cemetery of over 630 graves for Nadur notwithstanding the fact that statistics show that the deaths at Nadur rarely exceed 30 a year. This permit was issued on a site that hydrological experts’ reports have confirmed to be an important water source, indispensable for the agricultural production of the area.

An appeal lodged by one of the NGOs as on behalf of the farmers was followed by a long period during which eleven hearings and one site visit were held. In the meantime Hydrologist Ing Marco Cremona also testified and submitted a report on the hydrology of the area which was rebutted by the Appeals Board without a satisfactory explanation being given. Over these two and a half years the development has been ongoing at a steady pace, destroying this unique ecological/agricultural area and wreaking havoc with the farmers’ freshwater supplies.

The NGOs said they cannot understand how the Authority responsible for sustainable development continues to allow such damaging cases.
Finally the NGOs said they feel that this is another case where despite promises of MEPA reform, of ECO Gozo and of sustainable development, the Government and the authorities are failing miserably to uphold farmers’ rights, to help agriculture in Malta and to ensure that tourism, one of the main pillars of our economy, is not undermined by more damage to our environment and landscapes.

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    5 Responses

    1. jason says:

      This is the biggest test of all for ECO Gozo.

      Let’s see what happens now Minister Debono???

    2. Ghajn Qasab Farmers says:

      Shame on the Roman Catholic Nadur Church as she is the one that did all this destruction in our village.

    3. Lesley Kreupl says:

      It is a great pity that the church has allowed this devastation to take place, however, that MEPA gave them permission to do so in the first place is beyond belief. It is also beyond belief that the Ministry for Gozo chose to ignore the whole project, especially in view of the fact that both the present, and probably the future, Ministers for Gozo are Nadurin.

      I suppose it is fitting that a water-polluting cemetery will be the final nail-in-the-coffin of the eco-Gozo concept – perhaps the church could organise a plaque to that effect?

      Sort of:


      Unfortunately there is nothing that the hard working NGOs can do to restore/repair what has already been destroyed, but one hopes that they will continue to try and prevent similar disasters from happening in the future.

    4. James A. Tyrrell says:

      There is no such thing as Mepa reform, eco-Gozo and sustainable development. These were nothing more than buzzwords otherwise known as lies used by GonziPN before the last election. This Government couldn’t care less about the environment. All they care about is lining the pockets of the various organisations and companies and individuals who supported their election campaign.

    5. Sam Spiteri says:

      So eco Gozo means development on the State land like the construction of the Nadur cemetery that is projected on the State land ….and what kind of a PERIT is he MR…. surely he know that the land belongs to the Goverment not to the Nadur church.

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