Northern Ireland

County Fermanagh 'needs better anti-flood measures'

Fermanagh flooding
Image caption Many people's lives and livelihoods were disrupted by the floods in Fermanagh

The Stormont task force set up after flooding in Fermanagh in 2009 has said the area needs better protection.

While it concluded that the flooding risk could not be completely eliminated, it did make a number of recommendations.

It recommended a review of how the water levels in the Erne System were managed in the Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

It also said improvement works should be carried out on roads.

The two roads which cross Upper Lough Erne became impassable last November and the report said work needed to be carried out to reduce the loss of key transport routes.

However, all recommendations were dependent on funding being made available.

Report

The Executive published the recommendations of the Fermanagh Flooding Taskforce on Wednesday.

Commenting on the report, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development said that "no-one wants to see the scenes of last year repeated".

Michelle Gildernew said: "I welcome the fact that the necessary funding to raise and improve roads has been identified and with work beginning shortly, I hope that this will offer some reassurance to affected communities."

The floods caused extensive disruption when Lough Erne rose to record levels following days of heavy rain last November.

The task force, made up of members from a number of government departments, heard evidence from those affected including farmers and businesses.

It has also proposed a feasibility study for a flood alleviation scheme at Derrychara Link in Enniskillen - where a number of businesses became inaccessible.

The water treatment works should also be better protected to prevent drinking water becoming contaminated, it concluded.

After days of heavy rain, fields were transformed into lakes and roads turned into rivers across Fermanagh.

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