The Minister of Ecological Transition affirms that the “only limit” to avoid returning to the affected neighborhoods will be nature
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Sep 29 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Minister of Ecological Transition, Fight against Climate Change and Territorial Planning of the Government of the Canary Islands, José Antonio Valbuena, has guaranteed this Wednesday before the Plenary of Parliament that the Executive seeks a “technical solution with heart” to carry out the relocation of the neighbors affected by the volcanic eruption on La Palma.
“The important thing is the people, the last thing, the ecosystems,” he said in a hearing in which he made it clear that there will be no legal impediments to prevent the uprooting of the victims and “the only limit” that will be imposed by the nature.
He has said that they will “do the impossible” to help the “human dramas” that are on the island because under the lava “the vital roots of the neighbors are buried”, hence the reconstruction needs “human solutions” and not technical or legal.
Valbuena has commented that he is not “suspected” of defending ecosystems and natural habitats but has made it clear that he is not going to defend that the new lands generated by the lava flow are protected natural spaces.
“I will do my best to refute those arguments and if they teach me a precept, an article or a legal regulation we are going to change it, the current normative body is not designed for an eruption,” he has sentenced, underlining that for the regional government, the owners of these lands “are the same” that existed before the eruption.
Along these lines, he has commented that the situation of each affected person will be analyzed “case by case”, even those of people who do not want to return to those neighborhoods due to the psychological impact.
ALMOST 200 HOUSES AFFECTED
“We must try to avoid uprooting and relocation as much as possible. We are going to make every effort, we have never faced this exercise because it is the first eruption in an area of urban consolidation, but people are going to be a priority in reconstruction.” , has highlighted.
According to the first calculations handled by the Executive, there are slightly less than 200 homes affected in the municipalities of El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, which points to an “unprecedented” social crisis that must begin to be addressed and without the eruption has finished.
In this line, he has said that the social profile of each affected person is being analyzed to find out if they have deeds of the houses and land or if they have mortgage charges, regretting at this point that many financial entities are only exempting those affected from the payment of interests. “We must demand more of them, they are not up to the task, they do not have any gestures of real commitment,” he said.
From an environmental point of view, he has commented that for now, the air and water quality of the island is not affected or generates damage to health, although the forecast is that the irrigation network of the Aridane valley will be inoperative, therefore that sewage treatment plants will be installed in the next few days.
On the other hand, it has admitted an “irreparable damage to the habitat” because a volcanic eruption is the “most important natural catastrophe of all” and the worst for a territory because “nature makes a clean slate and in a painful way”.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION “IS IMPOSSIBLE”
In addition, he has said that planning environmental restoration works “is impossible” because the badlands takes up to 3,000 years to begin to be colonized.
The spokeswoman for the Socialist Group, Nayra Alemán, has said that the eruption “is not over” and La Palma “will be a different island”, with modification of ravines, for example, and understands that it is not possible to “continue corseted” with planning current given that the situation on the island is not normal.
For this reason, he has asked Valbuena to work “alongside the palm trees” in the reconstruction.
Ricardo Fernández (Cs) has said that there is a risk of air and water pollution due to the expulsion of gases and ash, plus the effects that may be in the sea, warning that the passage of lava activates a landscape change on the island and “it will take a long time” to be able to urbanize and re-cultivate.
Jesús Ramos (ASG) has commented that the affected areas will have environmental protection for which it is necessary to “compensate” those affected, underlining that apart from the damage on the ground it will also be necessary to monitor those of the marine flora and fauna.
Francisco Déniz, from Sí Podemos, has commented that the eruption “is a human catastrophe” for which he has urged the institutions “to put everything and more” to try to rebuild the island, although he has said that it will be “complicated and reason of suffering “make up for lost emotions.
BOOST THE CONSUMPTION OF BANANAS
In his opinion, “a new ecological cycle” is opening on the island and he has expressed concern about possible landslides on the slope, as well as the impact on banana farms, for which he has claimed more consumption, that the cut continues despite the ash fall and the improvement of workers’ conditions.
Luis Campos, spokesman for NC, has said that the eruption is not over and the consequences “may be different”, so that, before possible reconstruction, he believes that all measures must be prepared for when it can begin, underlining that uprooting and relocation of families should be avoided.
For the Popular Group, Luz Reverón has commented that it is unknown how long the emission of lava and its cooling will last, “there are many unknowns”, but has urged the Chamber “to change the chip” to help the palm trees with regrouping family. “To those people who have lost everything now we have to give back their dreams,” he added.
David de la Hoz, from the Grupo Nacionalista, has commented that the eruption has put on the table the “fragility” of the islands and the “solidarity” of the Canaries that responds to the “identity” of the archipelago in their consideration as a “people” .
He has announced that his group will be with the Government to support legislative and regulatory changes that facilitate the relocation of residents and have a future near the area where they lost their homes again.
He recalled that Lanzarote suffered six years of eruptions in the 18th century and farmers managed to “domesticate” the volcano and make its land arable.