Saturday, 22 May 2010

Crab burrows crushed under concrete

From the Times of Tuesday, 18th May 2010

Crab burrows crushed under concrete

The students I walk with along the beautiful valley of Baħrija always ask me that unanswerable question: "How has this been allowed to happen?"

We stared with disbelief last year when we saw masses of blue clay and stone being bulldozed in front of our eyes just a couple of metres away from one of the most important freshwater springs in Malta and right in the middle of one of Malta's supposedly top protected sites.

We observed crabs in their burrows on site even during the development stage - and now you can see the result this year. The burrows have been crushed under concrete.

May I ask who is monitoring the area and who was monitoring it during works? What was done to protect this species and its habitat and to avoid spillage into the water stream?

Reports had been lodged also to Mepa to inspect the area as the water flow is terribly slow, in some areas practically stagnant and residents have reported sewage leakages on site.


Adrian Borg Cardona(3 days, 10 hours ago)
Ms Anna Farrugia: I hope as an educator you teach children that "two wrongs do not make a right"! What is wrong is wrong.

Anna Farrugia
(3 days, 10 hours ago)
It is not only the PN that gave permits where permits shouldn't have been issued. Even during the 'reign' of the Labour Party eg San Guzepp tat-Targa, that was all green area untill some pretty/handsome labour supporter wished to have a view! SOME people in power do such things to fill their pockets with the aid of SOME contractors etc. I'd like to tell ms Falzon that the students of today are not going to like the world they're going to find in the very near future. Ms Falzon how can we, the adults, say 'ah the children of today are so bad, this that and the other' when we the adults are doing worse? I too am an educator and don't blame the children, but blame the parents and look upon some parents with disgust!

A. Xerri
(3 days, 12 hours ago)
Crabs that will servive are all in government and MEPA. Hondoq Ir-Rummien is next all the crabs and wildlife will be gone to concrete and deisel pollution. Eco Gozo. The Echo of the people dont count.

colin meadley
(4 days ago)
How can this happen - a few days after MEPA ,in their One World contribution to the Times, advised that the Maltese freshwater crab is a protected species this is reported. Can MEPA advise why this has happened and what is being done to rectify the situation

Do we need to go to Europe to protect our biodiversity or can we trust our politicians ? No answer required I think.

Claire Busuttil
(4 days, 2 hours ago)
Fejn hi il MEPA ????

J. Borg
(4 days, 2 hours ago)
If MEPA and the government appointees can get this blatant destruction so bad.....
one need not wonder much to deduce what crap they are up to that is less visible but likewise damning.....and then they claim that they serve our interests!

As things are going....we are really reaching a stage where any change can be better!

Shame to all who have a finger in the pie or who a turning a Nelson's eye!

Victor Laiviera
(4 days, 4 hours ago)
Don't worry, Ms Falzom. Prime Minister Gonzi has promised us a reform of MEPA - as soon as it is done, Baħrija will be reħabilitated!

On the other hand ... Dr Victor Xerri is back on the PN Executive Committe after his "taparsi" resignation, so you may have to wait a bit longer.

Edward Camilleri
(4 days, 3 hours ago)
tajjeb, din lobgha bin-natura!
thought so, that Victor Xerri resigned only as damage control for the party, not because anything will change.

What a disastrous state of affairs, must we damage this beautiful valley also, and endanger further the fresh water crabs- pushing it to extinction?

Edward Mallia
(4 days, 4 hours ago)
Annalise Falzon and her students should have the decency to give credit where credit is due.
Mepa bravely cancelled Victor Xerri's third and last permit which was supposed to allow him 'increased footprint'. Considering the mini-baronial residence that has been put in place,
heaven knows what this increased footprint would have allowed. On the other hand, the 'footprint' of the derelict one-and-a-half-storey hut there was before cannot have been anywhere near the present footprint. Has any Mepa sleuth checked that permits have been followed? But then Mepa was also brave enough to lose without trace files pertaining to the initial Xerri permits. These have never been found; very probably very little energy was expended in looking for them and of course no one was responsible.

As for crushed crab burrows: the last time I visited the site there was a heavy digger on long caterpillar tracks on the roadway just below Villa Xerri; the back end of the tracks was in the water course. Not even an armoured burrow and an armoured crab could survive that ordeal.

D. Farrugia
(2 days, 22 hours ago)
Not a single permit should have been issued in the first place. The site is outside development zone and within the highest levels of protection which prohibits any form of development. My family and I used to frequent the area simply for its natural beaty and can remember that the only structure within this part of the valley was a small room that was dilapidated. The development that has been allowed to wreck havoc to this rare habitat is a grave loss to our country.

Adrian Borg Cardona
(4 days, 5 hours ago)
This letter just proves that all we were told by MEPA that it s monitoring the sityuation was all lies! Anyone with a bit of sense - and no political agenda - could have easily foreseen this disaster to Malta's ecology happening. But of course, in this blessed Island of ours, the political grandees come first and before all. SHAME ON MEPA and those who supported the decision to build Dr. Scerri's villa in Bahrija.

S Zammit
(4 days, 5 hours ago)
Well said Annalise as always...what a shame. If nothing is going to be done to really protect the Maltese Freshwater crab and its habitat then we can all say BYE BYE to the specie and our only reminder that once we had a crab on these islands will be on our old 5c coin!

''May I ask who is monitoring the area and who was monitoring it during works? What was done to protect this species and its habitat and to avoid spillage into the water stream?''

Obviously it seems that no one is monitoring the sight. MEPA qumu mir-raqda........... Please see :-

Claire Busuttil
(4 days, 7 hours ago)
Tal misthija......dak ezempju li qed jiehdu t tfal f dan il pajjiz

Joe Busuttil
(4 days, 8 hours ago)
I suggest next time you take your students on a nature ramble to Bahrija, that you take Gonzi PN with you. Maybe as the minister responsible for Mepa he may provide you with an answer.

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