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Ta’ Muxi, Gozo, our Countryside – Parks or Illegal Dumps?

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Ta' Muxi, Gozo, Our Countryside - Parks or Illegal Dumps?The NGOs Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth, Gaia Foundation, Greenhouse, NatureTrust and Ramblers Association are concerned that in spite of the official message being given that the countryside is being protected, in fact many areas in Malta and Gozo are increasingly coming under attack.

In Gozo, illegal dumping has been taking place at Ta’ Muxi, near Qala, affecting an area of nearly 70,000m² or 60 tumuli, a video of this dumping is available on the link below:

Most of this dumping has occurred in an area of great geological interest and scenic beauty, proposed as a geological park. MEPA itself states: "Active conservation measures are required to protect the geology and landforms of Malta as an important and irreplaceable scientific, educational, cultural, aesthetic and potentially economic resource. If irreparable damage or loss was to occur then it is our own society that would be impoverished."

Farmers who deposit soil without a permit on fields lacking soil are subjected to the full force of MEPA regulations. At Ta’ Muxi, the ongoing removal of topsoil to cover illegal dumping of construction waste on virgin land has been ignored in spite of reports. If construction waste is used as infill on a building project, MEPA immediately clamps down. At Ta’ Muxi, construction waste has been dumped illegally and systematically with no action taken against the perpetrators. Furthermore, the Ta’ Muxi quarry operators have been using an illegal road to dump abusively for years. Yet MEPA expects us to believe that its officers are keeping a watchful eye on Gozo?

While the NGOs support the steep increase on tax for rubble waste in line with the polluter pays principle, this needed to be accompanied by enforcement, as now many are dumping in the countryside to avoid tax. The NGOs ask where the Green Wardens’ priorities lie as they only seem interested in fining litterers, while ignoring heavy dumping in the countryside.

The Ta’ Muxi quarry owners have violated several of the conditions of their permit, including failure to use the alternative route as stipulated in the permit and not preventing dumping by unauthorised persons. This quarry has failed to pay the sum of Lm2000 due annually since 1998 to Qala Council to cover road and water pipe damages as a result of the quarrying.

In the face of repeated protests, until recently top MEPA authorities were insisted that the quarry owners were acting within their permit. Then, some three weeks ago Mepa backtracked and admitted that violations of permit conditions had taken place

The Ta’ Muxi quarry is now applying for the renewal of its quarry permit. According to Legal Notice 337, when processing or renewing a permit, MEPA is to consider the impact of the proposed activity on the environment and to assess the applicants’ suitability based on their track record of legality.

At Wied Ghajn Zejtuna in Mellieha, MEPA’s upgrading of the scheduling of the watercourse has in fact massively reduced the size of the protected area, allowing development to encroach closer to the watercourse, endangering the ‘qabru’ (fresh-water crab) and aggravating flooding in the area.

At Benghisa a vast area of fields, protected carobs and dry stone walls is earmarked to create warehousing for the Freeport in spite of the existence of such facilities at nearby Hal Far.

At Haz-Zebbug developers have abusively uprooted a great many trees without the necessary permits. In the meantime Ramla Bay and Wied il-Ghasel remain imperiled due to their ongoing MEPA Appeals.

These examples of environmental neglect and mismanagement all over Malta and Gozo, culminating in the Dwejra debacle, show that MEPA lacks the will to prevent the encroachment of our countryside and the further destruction of Malta and Gozo’s natural beauty. As such MEPA officials responsible for this state of affairs should be held accountable and step down.

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    11 Responses

    1. Mario says:

      These COWBOYS makes me sick.

    2. Mario B says:

      These cowboys makes me sick. Where is Mepa to stop this dumping and the Minister for Gozo as well.

      Thanks to the NGO’S

    3. Charles Muscat (Melbourne, Australia) says:

      Something needs to be done about illegal dumping of rubbish and material. This beautiful Island is being ruined by a selfish minority who don’t care about the future generations. Remember don’t bite the hand that feeds you! Tourists to the Maltese Islands will find another place to holiday where it is much cleaner. The economy will go down without tourists.

    4. Victor Galea says:

      Year after year: Archaeological remains in the Gozo countryside lie abandoned in stanching discarded waste.

      “Transform the eyesores of hardstone quarries into rural development projects” …and this was told years ago!

      Intorducing the eco-Gozo ideal back in June 2007

      VOTE FOR CHANGE or for more of the same?

    5. James A. Tyrrell says:

      This is just another example of why the Gozo Ministry and MEPA are a joke. Neither of them appears to give a damn about the country. All Giovanna is good for is running around the place with a pair of scissors cutting ribbons and as for MEPA they are probably looking at these videos and thinking Ta’ Muxi would make a good set for a disaster movie!

    6. Lesley Kreupl says:

      How can so few people make such a huge cock-up of such a tiny island! I am not a violent person, but there are a few ‘protected birds’ on these islands that I wouldn’t mind a pot shot at!

      How can people do this to the environment? Don’t they care about tomorrow? Don’t they give a damn about the world their children, grandchildren, etc. stand to inherit?

      I hope the day will come when all they have to eat are smelly banknotes washed down with polluted, salty water – I wish them luck – bad luck!

    7. Lesley Kreupl says:

      It was wonderful to read today that eventually the PM and someone at MEPA has reacted to the youtube video that has been online for weeks. This dumping has been going on for a long time indeed with nobody taking the slightest notice, despite many complaints. It would be interesting to know what has taken the authorities so long to react, Especially since it was very obvious who the perpetrators were. Perhaps the Minister for Gozo was again waiting for the media to advise her what is happening on the island?

      Strange that “Road Construction Limited” is also the company that was used to dump/remove the grit at Dwejra.

      Do I get the feeling that there is a bit too much hand washing going on?

    8. m langford says:

      I think we all must agree that it would a special moment to read that someone has been prosecuted for dumping rubbish and have been fined severely. one day this might happen I would expect Malta to start landing people on the moon first.

    9. EMMANUEL MAGRO says:

      UP IN JAIL FOR A WEEK TO TEACH THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    10. EMMANUEL MAGRO says:

      I read a lot of the M E P A how,good they are for Malta & Gozo,and the police are
      really doing a very good detecting work,like recovering stolen property,I was thinking
      of the feast of St Joseph church in Qala Gozo,some body hid inside the church and
      when the cellebrations were finished the unsrupulous robbers stole the crown of
      St-Joseph”s head ,and never been brought to Justice,and what happened to the
      unsrupulous ,still is a mistory !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    11. EMMANUEL MAGRO says:

      I ,love to read about Malta ,Gozo and birth place Qala with that beautiful channel that
      separate the BAY of HONDOQ ir-Rummien and the nearest island of Comminotto that
      blue Mediterranian ,there is Mgarr Bay,our Minister of Gozo,should get after those that do not care about our invirment ,like ta “MUXI has been made an illegal dump sight!
      I want to congradulate your Mayor,that I to know that he will do a his best to keep Qala,
      from becoming a Dump…catch them,and bring them to justice.Good luck !!!!!!!!

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