د . إAEDSRر . س

‘We Came Here To Get Our Health Back’: Cancer Patient Who Moved To Għarb For Clean Air Warns Against ODZ Development

Article Featured Image

A cancer patient and her disabled husband moved to Gozo a few years back to ensure peace, nature, and clean air, qualities which are becoming more and more foreign on the island of Malta.

Now, that’s all under threat thanks to a new proposal calling for a new road and residential development on ODZ land.

Lovin Malta visited the town of Għarb in Gozo to meet with some of the residents and hear about the life-changing consequences that they will experience if the proposed permit were to be approved.

“My husband is chronically disabled, and I have struggled with cancer for years on end. We struggled a lot together with our sickness, and we came here to get our health back,” she said.

The woman has been struggling with cancer for around four years, and she and her husband decided to move to Għarb for the silence and clean air that it guarantees.

“Life in Gozo is heaven on Earth for me and my husband, and all the other people that come here to nurse their health,” she said.

“Għarb is the village with the cleanest air in Gozo, with no traffic, little residents, and lots of fields,” she said. These features will all be impacted if the Planning Authority approves this permit.

Many residents do not see the need for a new road in Għarb, as it is a town where the concept of traffic is quite foreign.

The resident also explained how rainwater goes down and gets gathered within these fields, so the water table would also be greatly affected if the permit goes through.

Water gathered then goes down to Wied ir-Raħeb, which is a protected zone and also forms part of these fields.

The biodiversity of the area is also immensely rich, with the resident recounting her varied encounters with different creatures such as swallows, red-breasted robins, quails, hawks, and even owls in the months of Summer.

“I am very weak and with the help of the air quality and peace in Għarb, it helps me have better health, as the air is too dirty in Malta,” the resident said.

She also lamented how Malta’s poor air quality is having major effects on people’s wellbeing, and pollution is leading to an increase in respiratory conditions.

“All will be ruined, and they are going to ruin us, residents, too,” she stressed.

The road and zoning application that is currently being proposed on over 5,000 sqm of ODZ land in Għarb, led by Joseph Portelli’s employee, are set to have major ramifications on the residents and the classic characteristics of the town.

Residents are currently up in arms over this proposed development, with the representations period ending this week on 27th October. You can object to this permit by following this link.

If this project is approved, it will have major consequences not just for Gozo, but also for Malta, as it will set a precedent for rezoning of agricultural land for residential development.

Share to raise awareness

READ NEXT: Lack Of Access To Third-Country Nationals Contributes To Major Concern About Labour And Skill Shortages

When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

You may also love

View All