A survey of a number of businesses carried out by MISCO gave a better indication of where businesses in Mellieħa stand in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals and what they are doing to have a more sustainable business model and community.
The Mellieħa Local Council has joined the Project Resilient Communities as it believes that by implementing this project together with initiatives already being undertaken, which I will mention here, we will be able to enhance the village of Mellieħa and ensure sustainability within the locality in the long term.
The Mellieħa Local Council is involved in a number of initiatives that are already in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. These mainly deal with waste recycling, improvement of infrastructure and care for the elderly. For example
A number of initiatives are being taken with the private sector to enhance waste separation within households. Through a waste recycling scheme authorised by the Environment and Resources Authority, the Council is co-ordinating door-to-door recycable waste collection twice weekly and has increased the frequency of domestic glass collection from once to twice monthly. This measure has also been extended to operators of bars and catering establishment through the provision of bins which are emptied twice weekly. Besides this, a number of recycable waste bring-in sites have been made available at various locations, with the made main one being monitored 24 x 7 for enforcement purposes. Available statistics indicate that the per capita weight of mixed waste dumped at the Magħtab Landfill has been reduced. These initiatives contribute to the ‘planet’ area of the SDGs and namely SDG 12 – responsible consumption and production.
The Local Council believes in partnership in order to reach the goals. NGOs and business enterprises are given the necessary support to carry out clean-ups in rural area as well as underwater, through the provision of the necessary equipment and the logistics involved. The result of the Council’s input is evident through the regular requests made to the Council from time to time by such entities. The dissemination of information related to such initiatives has an educational effect on the population in general. This also contributes to the ‘Planet’-related SDGs.
The Council is also committed to upgrade safely and security standards for its residents within urban zones, as well as in outlying areas. Extensive street lighting schemes have been introduced at Ta’ Masrija and at Santa Marija Estate zones, which have undoubtedly served as deterrant against burglaries in these areas. A number of disused public lands have been developed into public spaces for the first time, and existing once upgraded with modern play equipment. Recent examples of such initiatives are the Mellieħa Family Park, Ġnien il-Qigħan, Triq l-Erwieħ Playing Field and Ġnien iż-Żerniq at Manikata. These initiatives provide a more pleasant environment for the residents and contribute to ensure the wellbeing of residents. Building sustainable cities and communities is one of the key SDGs – Number 11.
The Council is also committed to improving the well being of elderly persons attending the Day Centre at Dar il-Madonna tal-Mellieħa, by providing transport to/from the centre and their private residences, and keep fit sessions, held twice weekly. Apart from that the Council provided gym equipment, furniture and fittings for the Day Centre. Minor repair and upkeep works are also carried at the Night Shelter facility, housed within the same complex. Such initiatives are focused on the ‘people’ are of the SDGs.
In general, the Mellieħa Local Council is committed to render Mellieħa a more sustainable community for all and will seek to enhance and develop other initiatives to ensure the sustainability of the community through the cross-sector partnerships developed within the resilient communities project.
A number of business meetings with local stakeholders were held with the support of the Mellieħa Local Council. In these meetings, a number of local issues were discussed, including those related to traffic, waste, tourism, and communication among the parties involved.
As part of the project 'Resilient Communities', on the 9th of April 2018, CORE Platform, in collaboration with the Mellieha Local Council and the Department of Education iLearn platform, gave a presentation on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to students from the Maria Regina College Mellieha Primary.
On the 11th of May, CORE Platform and SOS Malta, with the support of the Mellieha Local Council and the Imperial Band Club of Mellieha, organised two events. The first one was with Year 5 schoolchildren of the Mellieha Primary School where the SDGs and the project 'Resilient Communities' were explained. The second event was a workshop, with a number of stakeholders in Mellieha discussing the needs and challenges of the locality and possible ways of collaboration.
On Friday 8th February 2019, we held a stakeholder meeting at Ramla Bay Resort in Mellieha, who is sponsoring and supporting our events. A lot of interesting points were raised by the participants, who were actively engaged in the discussions.
Sustainable transport for the elderly and accessibility, tourist attractions in Mellieha, linking people to local events and local food, littering and the environment were some of the topics that were discussed on Friday. Everyone agreed that a focus on sustainability and more partnership is crucial for a locality like Mellieha.
All of the points raised will feed into a sustainable action plan for Mellieha.
A big thank you goes to the Ramla Bay Resort in Mellieha and its management and staff for sponsoring and supporting our events.