Repeated sewage overflow in Gozo leaves divers fuming

Avid diver Mike Bugeja says he has notified all the authorities concerned about the serious sewage overflow problem in one of Gozo’s best diving spots

Diver says it took five hours for authorities to control sewage overflow
Diver says it took five hours for authorities to control sewage overflow

A sewage overflow spoiling the clear blue waters of a popular dive spot off the rocky shore in the area known as Tal-Fessej in Gozo, close to Ras il-Hobz and Mgarr ix-Xini, took five hours to be brought under control, and only after complaints by a local diver.

Avid diver Mike Bugeja took to Facebook on Sunday and this morning to lament the fact that he had taken some visitors to dive off the coast in the area only to find the water contaminated with sewage that poured into the sea for more than five hours.

“Trying to take people diving and for 5 hours straight SEWAGE S**T coming out straight into the sea,” he posted on Facebook. “Diving literally in brown water... a thick cloud that we were not able to see each other anymore.”

Bugeja claimed this was already the second time this year that this had happened and wondered why nothing was done.

“Is this how we attract tourists? Shame on everybody responsable ... "Oh there is nothing we can do". REALLY ??? Dig a huge well near by, and when you have a problem sewage water goes in it not in the sea ... Idiots.”

In a second post on Monday morning, Bugeja confirmed that, after he had notified the Ghajnsielem local council of the issue, they called him back last evening to tell him they had taken care of the problem.

But that will not be enough this time, because Bugeja has vowed that he will “not stop here this time”.

“As many of you know I notified many of the authorities. I can assure you that many of them do not know of this existing problem …” he wrote.

“I am not saying this will not happen again. It will, if the systyem remains the same BUT Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat , Minister of Gozo,Dr Anton Refalo and MTA Malta tourism Association has been notified and I can assure everybody that this problem will be solved hopefully in the near future. I have NO Doubt.”

Authorities have boosted efforts promoting Malta and Goizo as hub for diving excellence
Authorities have boosted efforts promoting Malta and Goizo as hub for diving excellence

This comes at a time when the government and authorities arte increasing efforts to promote Malta in general – and Gozo in particular – as exclusive diving destinations.

In 2016, the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) and the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Europe signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at the creation of a premiere institution that will make the Maltese Islands a hub for diving excellence worldwide.

The memorandum was signed during an event held at the Institute’s Campus in Qala, Gozo, in the presence of both the Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis and the Minister for Gozo Anton Refalo.

“This collaboration will serve to attract divers and the global diving industry to Malta & Gozo and their waters, not only to explore our submerged attractions and treasures, but also for the opportunity to find the best training location for the safe and effective implementation of diving activities for recreation and tourism, science, technology and industrial scopes”, Zammit Lewis said on the day.

Refalo had gone on to note that diving was among the main attractions of Gozo and welcomed plans to further consolidate the island’s position as a top-diving destination.

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