We asked our readers to share their fears and concerns about haphazard construction around their area following several near-fatal collapses around Malta. This is being done as part of our #SafetyWatch campaign which is intended to improve health and safety awareness around the islands and expose bad practices.
Here are some of the stories we’ve received so far.
1. ‘I’m worried my block cannot take the additional weight of a new penthouse’
“My apartment block is approximately 25 years old and an additional floor is being added. The demolition work of the existing penthouse was done in a very coarse manner and I have concerns about my block being able to take the additional weight of the enlarged penthouse being built on top of it. There’s also a tower crane right outside my 4th-floor balcony.”
2. Falling bricks and inexperienced builders
“I’m very worried. In Pieta’ an additional nine units are being built on top of an existing structure with 15 residential apartments. Builders seem inexperienced. They operate a tower crane and on more than one occasion bricks fell whilst hoisting. We are very worried that the foundation was never designed for 24 units and a collapse may happen. The site is behind St Luke’s car park, Ursoline Street. The name of the building is Michele Court.”
3. Risk of loss of life and no visible enforcement
“There is excavation happening in Birkirkara, Mannarino Road corner with Triq Santa Marija. They are not respecting the 76cm boundary. Unless it is reinforced, part of Mannarino Road which is a super busy road, might collapse into the excavation site. The potential to loss of life is huge. I’ve already been reported to authorities but there has been no visible enforcement.”
4. ‘I worry about 12 families with children being trapped in my block if it falls’
Construction work in Msida/ Pieta and Guardamangia Area are unbearable with a new construction site every month. In our case we have submitted various reports relating to dust and concrete being poured in a viscous way on cars. We have had our cars filled in concrete splatter five times with two times being a day apart by different construction sites. We have reported to authorities and one of the authorities replied back with “You never broke the law, live and let live, let him do his job”. We had ne born baby’s clothes splattered with concrete once and dusted with construction dust multiple times. This most disgusting thing they did was that they made my four-year-old brother’s throat shrink with all the dust and they put my mother in a depression, cleaning everyday from dusk till dawn and she stopped working for this reason. We realised after a few years that there were some cost cutting measures taken in the building of our block, and now that a new block of apartments is set to start right next to our block, we are afraid that the whole five stories will fall, trapping inside 12 families mostly with children. If you need any photos please go to Bordin Street Misida, Qrejten Street Pieta and John Borg Street Pieta, in these adjacent streets you can find about 10 construction sites and another 10 sites planned to be constructed with permits hanging on the door.
5. ‘My neighbour removed their party wall so if they one day demolish their building, mine could come down with it’
“One of our neighbours has taken down their side of the party wall along the entire length of the house, and are now using our supporting wall as the common one between both buildings. They have had permits to restructure their interior, but I’m not sure if this was approved as part of it. The length of their house runs through all of ours, and I’m afraid that if they ever decide to demolish the place, my property will come down with it.”
6. My grandmother was killed 19 years ago and nothing has changed
“My grandmother was killed because of the ignorance of people, who were building next door and her house fell because of it. She was killed because her house fell onto her. Her son was badly injured because of it, as he was there, luckily, he lived. Her brother, on a wheelchair, luckily managed to escape. These people saw everything with their eyes and have suffered a lot because of it (obviously), apart from us as her family who have also suffered so much. This happened 19 years ago and you would not expect this to still be happening. This is the third one this month, apart from the others that have happened along the years. After 19 years nothing has been done (clearly) and it is disgusting that no action is ever taken.”