It’s been two months now since Janet Walker’s apartment block in Gwardamanġa collapsed, thanks to a construction site next door.
The case stunned the nation and prompted the government to suspend demolition and excavation works and eventually update construction legislation.
However, Walker herself has warned she has been left in the dark about the progress of the investigation into the collapse.
“Two months ago, 13th June 2019, one moment you are inside and happy with your surroundings, a moment after you’re out,” she posted on Facebook. “61 days later and we’re still out [of our house] with no idea of the outcome. Five families in total!”
“I for one have tried my very best to report to the Planning Authority, the Building Regulations Office, their architect, the developer, the contractor way before this happened. I have all documents and all…..I have got my own architect and lawyer and paid from my own pockets to not end up homeless, but I was no one. Why investigate further? This is against human rights or is it because I am a woman?! Would a man have been heard more?!”
“I have been laughed at by their architect [of the construction site], they tried to ridicule me, the developer has tried to intimidate me with his hands shaking in my face! I will not stop until all of us are back in and safe! I want Malta fully behind me, [it’s been] two months already.”
Walker is currently living in an apartment financed by the Housing Authority, which has promised to bill the contractor of the construction site for all expenses.
Besides Walker’s apartment, another two apartments collapsed in Malta in recent months, in Gwardamanġa and Mellieħa. These incidents jolted the government into action, with Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg pushing forward a legal notice to regulate the construction industry.
Site technical officers must now be licensed architects or engineers, method statements and condition reports drafted by architects must be more detailed than they used to and fines for developers who breach the law have been increased substantially.