One year since the flood. But Faenza still sleeps restlessly

One year since the flood. But Faenza still sleeps restlessly
One year since the flood. But Faenza still sleeps restlessly

A year ago, on the night between 16 and 17 May, Faenza suffered its second flood, just two weeks after the previous one. One death and almost a thousand displaced persons in the city alone, while throughout Romagna the count rose to 16 deaths and 23 thousand displaced persons. For weeks, entire neighborhoods remained buried in mud. «A year after that May which will forever remain one of the darkest pages in our history, we still need to keep our attention high», reflects the mayor Massimo Isola. Today at 7 pm in Faenza the so-called “Mud Ceremony” organized by the Menoventi theater company will travel through the flooded neighborhoods, involving citizens.

VALENTINA, PROFESSOR and mother of four children, lives in the “Bassa Italia” neighborhood, below the river bank. Here the water reached up to three metres. «We have not yet managed to start work, and we live in difficult conditions. Those who could have used up their savings. Unfortunately, the State does not reimburse expenses if very expensive appraisals are not paid for, so many give up on asking for reimbursement. Access to the Sphinx portal involves recovering cadastral maps that were often lost in the flood. Apart from the immediate support contribution, we have had no other help. Our neighborhood no longer has a kindergarten or a playground, the shops close, those who can leave. Abandoned areas risk becoming illegal landfills. We feel abandoned.”

Many did not return to their homes, especially those who lived on the ground floor. Nives Baldoni, president of Anffas, remembers the flooded day center: «For a year we have been guests in a temporary location and we have no news regarding our return, also because that area remains dangerous».

ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS PERSIST. The Formellino purifier, submerged a year ago, has not yet returned fully operational. For a year, residents of the Borgotto neighborhood have been reporting sewage leaks that flow into the Lamone near the bridge in via San Giovanni di Formellino, especially during heavy rains. Unfortunately, with the drastic (and useless) deforestation carried out along the rivers, the phytoremediation function performed by the plants has also been eliminated.

The residents of Via Casale, close to the Senio, are sleeping restlessly because the chasm created by the flood has not yet been closed, in a shift of responsibility between entities. «We are in an area defined as floodable by the regional plans, I wonder why they gave us habitability», shakes her head a young woman who bought the house shortly before the flood: «Now my house is worth zero».

IL LAMONE AND IL MARZENO throughout their course continue to have no expansion tank or lamination area to give vent to the waters. Senio should have three, but two are not completed and one has not been started. The mining companies that had the gravel quarries under concession should have transformed them into expansion tanks at the end of their life, but they never did. After years of delays, only in recent weeks has a complex legal dispute been opened to expropriate the land and build the expansion tanks.

IN THE MEANWHILE, driven by ecological protests, the concreting of a flooded area (the Ghilana) has been blocked, but in other areas the authorization processes are continuing. And near the river there are surreal advertising panels: “Villas for sale”. The regional councilor of Green Europe, Silvia Zamboni, presented a question in this regard, given that the Special Preliminary Plan (of the Region and the commissioner structure) also asks not to increase the anthropic load in the flooded areas.

MEANWHILE TOMORROW “an environmentalist march” will start from Piazza dell’Unità in Bologna at 5.30 pm and will arrive under the Palazzo della Regione. The procession, promoted by Ecoresistenze per Cambiare Rotta and other associations (including the No Passante galaxy), contests “the impoverishment of environmental protections in a context of high hydro-geological risk and the overbuilding policies implemented in the region”. In the evening at Don Bosco park, screening of the documentary by French director Pascal Bernhardt with the emblematic title Tropical Romagna.

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