Updated 3.09pm

Pictures of brown, dry plants on one of the government’s "green walls" bordering Luqa has prompted outrage from social media users who decried the lack of attention paid to the plants as a "pure waste of public funds".

As the pictures originally taken by Ruben Azzopardi did their rounds online, another user shared the photo in a large online Facebook group administrated by conservation NGO Din l-Art Ħelwa.

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia, who was tagged in the post, responded to users by saying “we are informed there was an interruption in the provision of electricity and because of this, the irrigation system spent days switched off”.

“This led to one species of the diverse range of plants on this wall to suffer dryness,” Farrugia added.

The minister said the contractor responsible for the project will be replacing the plants immediately as “obliged” to do.

Questions seeking to establish who the contractor responsible for the maintenance of the wall is have been sent to the environment ministry.

Photo: Chris Sant FournierPhoto: Chris Sant Fournier

The fault in the system which led to the drought seemed to mainly affect two plants varieties, with the rest remaining visibly healthy.

The wall, which covers about 150 metres, is part of the government’s drive to "green up" the urban landscape, with similar green walls being installed in Paola and Mosta.

NGO Moviment Graffitti also shared the photos of the green wall gone brown on its social media network asking about “the cost of the tenders for this work” while pointing out that the Marsa green wall had cost taxpayers just shy of €0.5 million.

The post refers to Infrastructure Malta CEO Frederick Azzopardi and his decision to award a tender worth €478,858 to The Doric Studio for the "supply and formation of a green wall along the Marsa-Ħamrun bypass" in April of last year.

Infrastructure Malta is not responsible for the green wall in Luqa. 

The Facebook page on which the pictures were first posted, named "Malta – A New Reality", often points out issues related to the environment in Malta.

“Remember the green walls? The same green walls which the government bragged so much about...well, soon only the plastic pots will remain green, and not even for long since they will fade,” the post read.

"Pure waste of public funds," the post concluded.

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