Northern Ireland

Belfast's Lord Mayor calls meeting over water crisis

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, has called an urgent inter-agency meeting to discuss the ongoing water shortages.

The call came after NI's First Minister Peter Robinson condemned NI Water's response to the crisis as "shambolic".

The meeting is to be held in Belfast City Hall later on Friday.

More than 6,000 homes remain without running water and Belfast has been particularly badly affected.

NI Water is rotating supply to about 24,000 customers.

The Lord Mayor said Northern Ireland was in the process of "managing the consequences of the recent thaw" which followed a period of extremely cold weather.

Emergency Plan

"The thaw has led to unprecedented pressure on the water distribution network with areas of Northern Ireland having been without supply for significant periods of time," he said.

"Belfast has been particularly badly hit with the most vulnerable in society worst affected. Belfast City Council has activated its Emergency Plan and regular conference calls have been taking place between agencies over the last number of days."

The Lord Mayor said that although significant work was being carried out by all agencies to deal with the current crisis, "the time has come for a face to face inter-agency meeting" to ensure that the authorities were focusing their activities to help the most vulnerable.

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