West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Water cuts having adverse impact on isolated rural communities

Published: 18 January, 2015

Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald and Declan Mc Aleer MLA help to deliver bottled water to isolated rural homes.

Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald and Declan Mc Aleer MLA help to deliver bottled water to isolated rural homes.

West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer has said that the ongoing disruption to water supplies is having an adverse impact on isolated people in rural areas after hundreds of homes in the Mid Tyrone area had their water supply cut off over the weekend. According to Mr Mc Aleer "The Loughmacrory water works shut down on Saturday afternoon and left approximately 1300 homes without a supply. During this time, along with other representatives I was in continuous engagement with NIW, including speaking to the Director of Engineering. I quickly realized that as a result of the industrial dispute, supply would not be restored until Monday afternoon at the earliest. Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald added "Given the inclement weather conditions and the fact that many of the rural roads were blocked with snow we had to get a temporary water supply brought in, and along with the Red Cross and local volunteers, we brought bottled water to dozens of vulnerable people who were effectively trapped in their homes. We went to the doors of pensioners, people with restricted mobility and other medical conditions, while other members of the public queued for water at the static tanks that were positioned around the area. "Rural businesses, schools and farmers have also been hugely affected by the disruption to supply. Mr Mc Aleer concluded "Whilst I hope that that negotiation process ongoing between the Unions and NIW will reach a satisfactory conclusion, it is important to bear in mind that the people most affected are those living alone in isolated areas. I strongly feel that the impact of disruption to supply was particularly harsh this weekend due to the weather conditions and I feel that there should be emergency protocols put in place in such exceptional circumstances. "This is an issue which I intend to raise again at the DRD committee. Public patience is beginning to run out on this issue, it is vital that a resolution is agreed as soon as possible".