Greening Ħ’Attard

Recently some criticism was targeted at me in the comments section of timesofmalta.com (http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120217/opinion/Greening-the-councils.407171), regarding the total upgrade of a dilapidated space, called a ‘playing field’, in H’Attard. After lots of work money was sourced from the MEPA urban improvement funds for the total upgrade of the Hal Warda playing field. Here is my take on this issue.

1. Yes, Hal Warda garden is way off its target completion date. The facts are: archaeological remains were found and the process took long, since archaeologists had to examine the site, things take long because of permitting issues and the appointment of a person (as per law) to monitor the excavation works. Work which could have been done mechanically HAD to be done manually. Believe me the remains could have been just ignored- it is not that difficult – “fejn? vera?  ma rajnihomx!”.

2. Remains were found because of works on an additional reservoir – a decision taken collectively which I do not regret – the more water catchment the better, our little contribution to collecting rainwater!

3. No, the area being ‘covered with concrete’ is not more than that in the previous dilapitated ‘garden’, and yes an area is reserved for open air gym equipment – something I am very proud of having with others proposed and worked for – let’s really DEVELOP in the positive sense our urban spaces into areas for the community, to meet, play and rest.

4. Yes, some eucalyptus trees were removed – these are an alien species which literally suck the soil dry. Will be replaced (anyway if elected I will make sure of this), with indigenous trees (e.g. poplar, olive, sandarac gum). Expert environmental manager consulted on this point.

5. I personally pushed for and oversaw the planting of hundreds of indigenous trees in every available space in H’Attard – been there, done that, will keep on doing it.

As for other green efforts, here are just a few: leaflets for events in which i was directly involved were printed on recycled paper, I constantly emphasised the need to remind and inform people about recycling options, in fact every few months residents received leaflets reminding them of recycling timetable, piloted recycling of waste during local festa, asked for and got funding for photovoltaic system for local primary school, asked and piloted the planting of hundreds of trees including in Wied Irmiedi and the local school grounds, trying prototype solar powered street signs for zebra crossings (still some issues with battery power here…hope to solve soon!), saving gardens from being turned into tarmced ‘parking’….  no, I did not manage to have everything my way, that’s life! And yes there are still issues, problems and challenges which we all must face and work to solve together. I will never promise to ‘save the world’ or a superman solving everything in a click of a finger – what I do promise is to do my best, according to my principles and policies.

 

2 Responses to “Greening Ħ’Attard”

  1. Godfrey Camilleri Says:

    Keep up the good work Ralph; we appreciate your drive to have Attard a better place to live in. I wish you success in the coming elections.

  2. Ralph Cassar Says:

    Thank you – I really and truly try to do my best. Of course there will be times when we disagree, or times where I have to explain myself better – e.g. sometimes trees need to be replaced – and in my opinion replacing eucalyptus (and yucca, another alien plant which infests H’Attard) with indigeneous trees is a good decision. Sometimes problems crop up and things take longer, much longer, than expected. I cannot promise to please everyone each and every time, what I can promise is that I take decisions in good faith and try to do my best according to my principles and policy priorities.

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