Eco-Gozo Project at HQ

Report by CSL Anita Muscat

In 2010, the Ministry for Gozo launched a funding scheme for projects carried out by Non Governmental Organizations, which projects were related to the eco-island vision. Through this scheme, NGO's could be given financial assistance to implement projects which would enhance the sustainability of Gozo while protecting its heritage. This scheme would thus enable NGOs to participate actively in the implementation of the eco-Gozo project, and more specifically the short-term measures identified in the document "Eco-Gozo: A better Gozo Proposed Action 2010-2012".

Among the list of proposed actions in the Eco-Gozo Short Term Action Plan 2010–2012, under the topic Water, the government encourages the collection and use of rainwater in households and the implementation of systems for the re-use of such water.

It was thus that the idea to build an underground reservoir in the headquarters yard began to take shape. Such a reservoir would collect the rainwater from the roof of the building and re-use this scarce commodity for domestic purposes such as showers, toilets and washing up.

Scouter and engineer Mario Galea and Group Council members Gino Mizzi, John Xerri and Raymond Caruana assumed responsibility for the project. The necessary application forms were duly submitted before mid- January 2011. The group was later informed that its proposals had been accepted. In early June 2011, the Group Council Chairman, Mr Joe W Cassar and the Group Scout Leader, Mr Lorrie Saliba, on behalf of the group and the Ministry for Gozo signed an agreement for the funding of the project – building an underground reservoir in the headquarters' yard and installing water tanks on the roof which tanks would distribute the water collected to the other outlets.

During summer, most of the stores and equipment in the headquarters' garage were transferred to another garage which the Group has recently acquired. In this way, more space was created and cleared a passageway which would allow machinery to pass through.

Work commenced in September. Excavation works in the yard was the first step. To enable heavy machinery to enter the yard, the dividing wall between the garage and the Scouters' room as well as the wall between the Scouters' room and the yard were torn down. Thus front diggers and other machines could enter and leave the building through the garage door.

Works should be completed by the end of October. This should coincide with the start of the rainy season on Gozo. Thus the collection of water could start as soon as possible. In this way, the Victoria Scout Group would be doing its best to safeguard the environment by adopting environmentally friendly measures and reducing its carbon footprint.

Eco-Gozo at HQ