A building with and without the stains from the calima. / sur

What a contrast: Malaga's calima clean-up continues

The city council has now begun to clean the orange stains off the outside of social housing apartment blocks at a cost of 177,000 euros

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ Malaga

Many buildings still bear the signs of Malaga’s worst episode of calima ever, which occurred in March when airborne dust from the Sahara desert became muddy rain and everything it came into contact with was stained orange. The delay has been for two reasons: one is that cleaning companies were overwhelmed by the demand once the calima (dust from the Sahara) was over, and the second is because it is not cheap: the process to return large buildings such as apartment blocks can cost between 5,000 and 15,000 euros, depending on their size.

However, Malaga council has now contracted a company to return some of the city's social housing blocks to their normal white colour, at a cost of 177,000 euros.

The works began last week, and the first block to be cleaned was in Plaza de la Judería, between Calle Granada and Calle Alcazabilla. It is one of the smallest buildings, with just four floors.

“We looked at the condition of all the blocks and decided to clean the 35 which are in the worst state. We contracted one firm to do the whole job, because it was cheaper that way. It will take about six months and works out at about 5,000 euros per building,” explained the Social Housing councillor Francisco Pomares. “As the council owns the apartment blocks, it is obliged to keep them in as good a condition as possible for the tenants”.

In the meantime, the municipal cleaning company Limasam is also still busy cleaning up the calima, in this case from the streets of the city. This operation is costing around 500,000 euros, which includes hiring tanker lorries from private companies and leasing more lorries for its own use.