A protest against “developers’ dictatorship” following three building collapses in two months is being organised by Moviment Graffitti on Tuesday.
The protest will be held in front of the Malta Developers’ Association offices on Tuesday, kicking off from St Luke’s Hospital at 6pm.
The NGO is calling on residents and associations from localities across Malta to “show their displeasure at the way they have been treated by the developers’ lobby and their dictatorship”.
It encouraged all those who are angry, fed up and worried about this situation to join this protest.
“Graffitti has repeatedly warned about the sad state of affairs. Developers do as they please all over Malta, to the detriment of residents who have to face, day to day, noise, dust, road closures, traffic, illegal dumping of waste, physical hazards, and the arrogance of the developers who clearly have no interest in anything but making millions.
“All this is happening with the tacit blessing of the Planning Authority, which rarely takes action against these developers, and of other authorities who never intervene.”
Graffitti added that following the first incidents, which included numerous deaths in various construction sites, nobody had stepped up to take responsibility.
Additionally, the MDA "arrogantly" stated that "these are accidents that happen”.
It was only after people started losing their homes, together with bad publicity and media pressure, that the government started to address this “uncontrollable problem”.
The civil society activities drew up a list of urgent demands which it said would help safeguard residents' safety.
- A limit on permits issued
- An end to the laissez-faire attitude prevalent in the planning sector
- Restricted hours for construction and excavation works and a limit on the number of parking spots taken from residents
- A law that imposes decent standards to safeguard the residents’ health and safety in areas close to construction sites
- Serious enforcement of construction laws, to protect both workers and residents
- Ensuring responsibility is assumed for such incidents. So far, Graffiti said, nobody has taken responsibility for any of these accidents.
Family appeals for help finding suitable apartment
The family who ended up on the street after Thursday's collapse are meanwhile appealing for help finding a wheelchair friendly apartment in the central area.
Janet Walker wrote on Facebook that on Thursday night the family were hosted at the Diplomat Hotel. They had now been offered an apartment in Qawra which, however, did not meet the family’s needs. They were also offered a room in at St George's Park in Paceville for Friday night.
Ms Walker said she worked in Kirkop, her sister in Paceville, her niece Thea’s school was in Ħamrun and her mother needed constant attention.
“Do you think we should be treated better? We are literally exhausted. Please help me push this forward... share,” she pleaded.
Replying to a comment Ms Walker said that she had been offered therapy but what the family wanted was a roof over their heads.
The architect, the builder and the owner “should step out of their homes and try this life” if need be, she said.
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