The area surrounding Pego do Inferno, the waterfall and pool in the Tavira countryside, was burned to a cinder in the 2012 fire that swept across the eastern Algarve which left 21,500 hectares blackened and charred.
For five years, the Pego do Inferno site has been ignored by the local council, despite the area once attracting thousands of locals and visitors.
To repair the damage to the site, a petition was started, Youtube videos were posted, crowdfunding was suggested and everyone decided that ‘something must be done’ but nothing has been done and the area now is in a state of almost total dereliction with visitors braving the now overgrown surrounds, returning cheerless.
The council, under Jorge Botelho, said the problem is that “some of the land is public and some is private,” failing to add that, none-the-less, the council is responsible.
Vague talk of ‘European funding’ was another reason for the council to do nothing, while spouting nonsense about a ‘charter of principles’ and calling for a ‘sustainable project.’
Last summer, even the tourist board boss, Desidério Silva, awoke and managed a comment: “it is important and urgent to recover Pego do Inferno, according to the best and the highest safety standards."
"I believe this recovery project because it will help the tourist offering in Tavira, it’s another option for those who want to be in the Algarve, close to nature in a beautiful and peaceful place," said Silva did not veer from his personal mission to say much and achieve little.
Even in this local council election year, Jorge Botelho continues to use inane platitudes and clap-trap, wanting "broad debate in civil society on how to better value the space of Pego do Inferno” and predicts that something will be done soon, tenders will go out, and “with the removal of the materials that remained after the fire that destroyed the site we will take an important step towards the renaturalisation of the Pego do Inferno."
After a five year delay, Botelho says the next step “will be to listen to civic society about the format for the use of the site. It is an environmentally sensitive place and its use should not be made in a massive way because this compromises its quality and sustainability, we will have to find a solution capable of accommodating its use and take care with the impact."
Botelho’s summer 2016 promise was that the wooden structures and bridge giving access to Pego do Inferno will be removed during the winter months. After five years, the council has talked about the site’s repair and done nothing.
There will be more interminable waffle from the mayor this year with grand promises and frequent use of the word ‘sustainable,’ until the autumn elections are out of the way and nothing need be done for another five years.
Pego do Inferno is a pleasant pool and waterfall which needs some wooden walkways installed so people can get there safely. How hard is this to arrange?