I remember well that many years ago, one of my nephews was here from Australia. I was still little. My brother Charlie told me to take his son to 'Wied il-Mielah'. I did and was happy to show my nephew around and explaining in 'English' the environs. And I thought that in English, 'Wied il-Mielah' should be translated into 'Salty Valley'. How funny.
I still remember the smell of drainage in this beautiful valley. In those years there were no commemorative marble plaques showing that EU dignitaries who visited the valley and no indications of the ceremonies which were to be held to celebrate the Euros from EU funding project for the rehabilitation of the valley.
Indeed, every now and then, we hear the Gharb PN Mayor and his Minister Govanna psoing for photos for the press on this site, in order to say that Gozo is to continue enjoying EU Funds, as the Gharb Local Council has succeeded in obtaining further funds for the Rehabilitation of Wied il-Mielah - not 'salty valley' anymore, but still an open drainage reserviour. Perpahs the MEPA enforcement section may like to pay a visit now that the rain season started rather than coming to gozo on a nice sunny day in Summer!
"Wied il-Mielah – towards an ecologically and culturally sensitive sustainable tourism is the name of the €600,000 project, which will be co-financed by 85% from the European Regional Development Fund. The project will give a touristic dimension to the works already carried out whilst respecting the environment."
Now imagine the tourists on this site TODAY, walking amongst the drainage flow going down from the valley to the sea! the smell is unbearable!
It seems that the rehabilitation of the valley are solely used for the construction of rubble of walls and bridges which have been destroyed, cleaning of the valley basin and resurfacing the road leading to the valley in order to make it more accessible .... yes they want more cars on eco-Ghawdex!
"Attractions including rustic furniture" - where over the drainage flow?
"Observation binoculars and audio visual equipment will be installed." - why? Perhaps to see closely the illegal hunting and trapping taking place on-site?
"The project will compliment the works carried out through the first phase also through the Structural Funds Program for Malta 2004-2006"
I honestly wish well for this project, but alas, if you find it hard to believe me, please have a look at the photo with the drainage flow taken today. Don't hope for any comments from the Gozo Toursim Assosiation. They have no flats or Hotels in this area.
Thank god that you can't smell it from the comfort of your home.