the extreme weather conditions suffered all over the Balearic Isles from 10th
to 16th November, the Balearic community is starting to come to grips
with the extent of the damage.
president of the Balearic Isles Francesc Antich is hoping to approve by Monday
3rd December a government “help plan” that will offer people compensation
if they suffered material loses as a result of the storms.
government funded project will help the Balearic community get back to normal
after the storms left a trail of damage and destruction across the islands.
of the most noticeable consequences is that the majority of the Ibicencan beaches
have been left with less than half the amount of sand that they had before.
after the storm, the Ibicencan community started manifesting the need to restore
the sand lost, before the start of the new summer season.
the Balearic Government had a different idea.
“green” councillor Margalida Rosselló made a statement from the Ministry of
Environment declaring: “We consider it best to let nature take its course and
restore the beaches without the need of using artificial methods.
solution is not to pump new sand on to the beaches but to find a long term solution,
which will avoid this problem in the future”.
coastal general director Onofre Rullán backed the councillor’s decision as he
considers that “ restoring the beaches by adding sand will have a negative effect
on the seabed”.
Rosselló’s declaration, the Balearic Government received various complaints
from Ibiza residents who consider that “beaches are essential for Ibiza”.
listening to the public opinion, the Balearic Government changed its mind.
spokesman Antoni Garcías rectified his companion, Margalida Rosselló, in a new
statement: “There is an urgent need to restore all the beaches in the Balearic
Isles that were destroyed or damaged in the storm.
want the beaches to be back to their original state before next summer”.
Tur, Balearic president of the opposition, also supported the Government’s change
of decision: “We have to regain the sand we have lost in the storm. But we also
have to adopt measures to avoid this happening again.
now, our main priority is the tourist industry and how this situation will affect
have to concentrate in proving to everyone that our beaches haven’t lost their
Balearic Government supports the idea of letting the Ministry of Environment
work on the beaches that have practically disappeared as a result of the storm.
Blanques, Port Sant Miquel, s’Estany des Peix and Llevant are the beaches that
have been most affected by the weather, and Formentera has calculated loses
of 23 million pesetas.
Garcías also made it clear that there is a difference between restoring and
regenerating. To restore a beach means to bring it back to its natural state.
While regenerating is a technique used to enlarge a beach, using artificial
added: “The aim of the project is to have the beaches looking the same as last
year before the new season starts”.
Coast Demarcation will work on every case after the Ministry of Environment’s
inspectors analyse and inspect the consequences of the extreme weather conditions
at each location.
head of the Balearic Coast Demarcation Fernando Garrido has assured the Government
that the beaches will be restored before May 2002.
Ministry of Environment has promised 2,200 million pesetas to help repair the
damage that was caused during the storm.
this figure, 400 million pesetas are already being used to start the repair
Government Delegation of the Balearics has warned the Council of Education about
the arrival of a large number of immigrants, mostly children, to the island.
Government is worried that with more than 700 foreign families expected to arrive
on the island, approximately 1,400 children will need to be incorporated into
the Balearic education system.
schools in Ibiza have received more than 400 applications from immigrant children
that want to start classes, even though the school year is well under way.
Ferrer, education consultant, said: “The main problem is where to place all
these new children that are arriving in Ibiza. The classes are already full
and we are running out of solutions”.
of students in the Balearic Isles are immigrant children from other countries
such as Morocco, Germany, France, Colombia, Great Britain, Argentina, etc.
year, 232 extra teachers were employed to teach these immigrant children to
speak Spanish, explain the Spanish culture and to understand the contents of
the subjects they are being taught.
the other hand, the teachers have also to be taught how to teach immigrant children
that may show difficulties when learning a new culture.
teachers also feel the need to understand their pupil’s culture so that they
can relate to the situation the children are in.
year 600 children started classes in the middle of the school year. So for this
year this figure stands at 205 and rising rapidly.
Government will have to start considering new education possibilities if they
don’t want to end up with overcrowded classrooms through out the Balearic Isles.
Balearic Ministry of Environment has recently bought a mobile unit to measure
air quality in areas that don’t possess a fixed unit.
to Margalida Rosselló, environment councillor, “Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera
will all benefit from the new equipment as at the moment they don’t possess
any monitoring system”.
new machine, bought at the start of the summer, cost 210,354 Euros (35 million
pesetas) and will start functioning in the next few weeks.
equipment, which will be operated by engineering consultants, will be first
used to monitor the emissions from the electrical generating company Gesa.
machine will detect levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydro carbonates, etc.,
as well as monitoring the temperature wind speed and direction, humidity levels…
the results are known, companies will hopefully be forced to implement pollution
control measures. With practically no pollution on any of the three Balearic
Isles in comparison to the rest of the world, any measures that the government
introduces to keep it that way will be good news to all us residents.
I’m off for a walk to enjoy the lovely clean Ibicencan air! See you next week!