The Chadwick Lakes regeneration and restoration project has entered a new phase after within the last couple of weeks another milestone has been achieved. The €5million project, which is partly financed by the European Union, is being undertaken by the Energy and Water Agency.
On Monday morning, Minister for Energy and Water Management, Dr. Michael Farrugia, together with Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Dr. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, accompanied by the Energy and Water Agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Manuel Sapiano, visited the ongoing works at the Valley.
Mr. Sapiano explained how the first phase of the project was completed last summer, where 53,000 cubic meters of silt were removed from the valley itself together with invasive vegetation. He said that works are being done with respect to the ecological system of the valley through continuous monitoring by a private entity and under the supervision of the Environment and Resources Authority.
Last winter, work focused on the restoration of rubble walls, planting of new trees, and the restoration of the Fiddien Box which is a British built structure used to collect water from several different sources in the area, and, eventually, supply the main water system in our country. This restored structure is now going to be used as an interpretation center, with a recreational area developed around it.
Within the coming weeks, another phase of work will begin in the middle of the valley. The works involve the excavation of silt that accumulated along the valley over the years and the excavation of several important features built during the 19th century, such as small dams and a system of passages. These structures have the main purpose of retaining water, however, once the project is completed, they will offer wonderful scenery that complements the natural beauty of the valley.
During the press conference Minister Michael Farrugia explained that this area is being developed on a unique and innovative spot on the Maltese Islands as it covers various aspects such as those recreational, ecological, water conservation, and natural habitat. The Minister said that this project will increase the water capacity in the catchment areas. Meanwhile, the ecological aspects of the valley are being restored.
The project is important for several reasons such as the increase in water capacity and the ecological restoration of the valley. In this process, several alien species are being removed as they are harming life in the valley. This will serve for other indigenous species to flourish within the valley.
Several studies have been carried out in order to identify a number of existing species in the valley in order to identify a number of existing species in the valley. The exercise will lead to the development of an earth-beaten trail, making the area accessible to the public.
Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi explained that through this regeneration project, the government is investing to embellish the Maltese countryside and diversify the touristic product. The project is striking a balance between the development and the preservation of the environment and biodiversity, making it a unique site, meanwhile providing a recreational site for the locals.
The investment of European Funds in this regeneration project will offer a new life to this area of natural beauty, therefore improving the local environment and also the quality of life.