My vision for Gozo – Grand Future Project by Lino DeBono
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“Many in our islands are worried about how our industrial waste is going to be disposed of, both now and in the future.
Up until now there are several who are indicating and proposing land reclamation which has initiated disputes between those in agreement with this and those who are against. Where this should happen is also being debated.
Therefore a healthy debate on this important subject has already started. What each and every one of us in our islands agrees on is that there is no site to dump our industrial waste in the future.
The Prime Minister has stated that our islands will need an area the size of 3 football pitches every 10 years to meet this demand.
This will create an even bigger problem for our country in finding a location for these sites, as well as the question of inconveniences caused to the area chosen for dumping.
A Viable Solution
As I am now retired and have ample time to think, have been and still am, involved in the interests that benefit our islands, I would like to put forward my personal idea which would solve this important issue and may also benefit Gozo in general.
As well as directly, or indirectly, solve this issue of dumping industrial waste material for many years to come.
When in the 50s Lord Balogh designed the Mgarr Harbour Project, 3 designs were submitted for a small – medium and large Harbour Mall. As at that time nobody had envisaged the harbour would have so much traffic and use, the small harbour plan was chosen.
In the late sixties work was issued to “Socomar” the Italian firm to implement this plan. Socomar did a grand job as everyone can see, with the harbour protected from the weather elements making it very safe for those berthing there.
As time went on with both business and workload increasing rapidly, the harbour as it exists today is too small and inadequate for the present needs.
The Gozo Channel Company can’t even construct another berthing place to accommodate ferries as there is no more space. As a matter of fact the recent additional ferry has to berth in Cirkewwa overnightMy Suggested Plan
I have a vision of Mgarr Harbour extended from just before Xatt l-Ahmar to the limits of Hondoq ir-Rummien Bay. These two large “arms” can be constructed from the industrial waste created in our islands, however I have not carried out any research or studies about the depth of the sea-bed, etc.
This possible future project as I imagine it, will take long years to implement, but will be a viable solution for our islands, solving the issue of where to dump our industrial waste for many long years.
This project will also help Gozo as a whole, extending its purpose as well as creating future work for Gozitans.
I have asked a friend of mine, after holding several meetings with him, to roughly design for me the projected site plans. These projections are shown in the photo above and included in the article for discussions and comments.
If this projection is accepted by the authorities and the general public, then Gozo will in my view benefit from having a major harbour which can take in superyachts, as well as other craft – have a cruise liner terminal – be able to house more ferries – have the present inner harbour solely for the use of Gozo Channel ferries and local fishermen, both professionals and others.
Excavating underneath the cliff face, one can build a car park for yacht owners including a site to store their equipment when abroad. A side road can also be constructed without touching or destroying the natural beauty of Zewwieqa – Mgarr.
The cruise liner terminal can be constructed in this area, which if done, will bring more tourists, business and working opportunities for Gozitans.
I also predict that by having the yachts – cruise liners, working opportunities for a variety of jobs will be created not only for all Gozitans willing to work but also for others.
I believe that Gozo will be booming for many – many future years.
Vision & Willingness
What is needed is a future vision and for our legislators to have a vision towards a better future. I once saw a film with Alan Ladd – None but the Brave – this title I have always kept in my mind. If someone doesn’t have the guts to think and believe in oneself, then “What’s He Living For?” (another title for a song).
I also say “Nothing Ventured – Nothing Gained.” Therefore, although I may be proposing a 30-year project, at least I for one am doing so.
I ask those in the administration and other entities to take into consideration the problems and needs for dumping waste on our islands, to take and put my vision for public discussions, as I believe that this projection will help in benefiting Gozo and solve the problem of dumping industrial waste for many long years to come.”
The author welcomes an general feed back and discussion on this.
Former Labour Member of Parliament.
Photos provided by the author