FMHOY - Fuerteventura
For this first issue of 2018, we met with the president of Fuerteventura's Cabildo, Marcial Morales, in order to get a summary on the progress that the island has undergone over the past year and announce the new projects that are underway and those that will start soon to our readers.
Indeed, I wish them all a better year than last year, filled with hope and this is the mission we are working on. This new year is mostly starting with improvements in public services, starting with health services, education, care for the elderly and disabled people.
The team that is currently running the Canarian Health Services is carrying out the promised improvements, starting with the 14 specialists, who were contracted last year. They had also promised to extend the hospital, which was done by the end of last year. There are 74 new beds, plus the radiotherapy department and a unit for medium length stays for people with mental diseases.
Yes, it is, we ended last year with great progress made on the subject of dependency, where we obtained 24 million Euros from the Canarian Government and this year, the Cabildo will match it with at least another 24 million. The improvements will be visible over the next few years. We have already opened the Residence for people with disabilities and during the first semester, we will open the Occupation Centre of Puerto del Rosario for those people, the therapy swimming pool is being built.
There is also the Residence for the elderly with 100 residential spaces and 30 daytime spaces that will start being built during the summer. The Day Centre in Corralejo will open during the first semester and during the year, we hope to open the Residence for the elderly and Day centre of Gran Tarajal and Morro Jable. Furthermore, we are starting the project for the Residence of mental health, that will be the first of its kind on the island. We will end the year with around 300 spaces to help people who need them the most and with significant projects that will be completed this year and next year. The Island's Accessibility Council is already in action and our absolute priority is for all projects that are presented to the Cabildo that aim at improving accessibility to be dealt with as absolute priority. We have consolidated a transport system and reduced its cost by half, which means that students and people with disabilities can travel all over the island for only one Euro.
This year the section that goes from La Caldereta to the Airport will be up for tender and we hope for it to be completed in 2018 and in 2019 it will be the section between the Airport and Pozo Negro. The two sections that are required to complete the airport in the South will also be completed. Over the year, the roads will be in perfect conditions as we have been fixing them for a while and we are also planning for the fourth section of the island's rural tracks, representing 1061 km, to be asphalted this year. And finally, this year, the project of the new harbour in Corralejo will be up for tender, representing a 40 million Euro project.
Regarding the environment, we hope to get rid of all electric water heaters on the whole island and to get them replaced by solar powered ones, those projects will be financed by the Cabildo for 50% of the costs. Anyone purchasing an electric car, in addition to getting free electricity charging from the 6 points available on the island, will receive 2000 Euros in addition to what the state offers already. Also, anyone who has a well and wishes to install a windmill will receive financial support for half of the cost. Agricultural and livestock farms will receive from the Cabildo 70% of the cost of their project. There are already 12 farms on the island that are at 0 cost. There is water for agricultural and livestock use at 0,60€ with a commitment that the price won't rise. We have increased and will continue increasing the number of reservoirs that collect as much rainwater as possible.
This year, the island of Lobos will become totally renewable and all engines will disappear and we will limit the number of visitors who will now be charged to gain access. So many changes and projects. What else can you tell us? In 2018, we will complete the school in Villaverde and will start building the schools in Jandía and Caleta de Fuste and renovations will be carried out in the existing school. We have completed the project for the Seafront Avenue of the harbour of Morro Jable and we want to complete and start all the projects for the seafront paths in each municipality. The project for the systematic cleaning of the roads, renovation of stone walls and illumination of emblematic buildings is up for tender. We will increase the island's attractions with various projects. As a scoop, I can tell you that we have a group of graffiti artists known worldwide who will transform common buildings into works of art. We are building a wooden path on the outside of Tindaya so that people can visit the “Podomorphos” (carvings in the shape of feet) without touching the mountain. This year, Tuineje will become a great outdoor museum for the battles of Tamasite and El Cuchillete. Furthermore, this year the Cinema museum will become operational with data and mementoes from the great productions that took place in Fuerteventura and there will be an App that will guide people through all the locations on the island where films were shot. We will also have an ordinance for the sky so that all the street lighting has the adequate luminosity and so that we don't lose our sky. This year we will also start with the Park of Stars in Tefía that has one of the cleanest skies, together with a Planetarium in the Technological Park. There will actually be many and important novelties for this Technological Park this year, which we have signed very important agreements for.