Drogheda and East Meath left high and dry as Irish Water dithers – Adams
Sinn Féin President and Louth Gerry Adams TD has accused Irish Water of “dithering about” as people in Drogheda and parts of East Meath deal with a fifth day without water.
Describing events in Drogheda as “a serious wake-up call for the Government”, Teachta Adams called for a major capital investment programme for upgrading the state's water infrastructure.
“Irish Water are dithering about the place as the people of Drogheda and East Meath go a fifth day without water.
“Sinn Féin offices have been inundated with calls from concerned & frustrated constituents who are now hearing from media report they will have no water until Thursday. Irish Water need to confirm if this is the case.
“It is not clear what emergency measures, if any, Irish Water has put in place to ensure access to water for all persons affected or what plans are in place to ensure access for those with additional needs, particularly the elderly, immobile, and those with young children.
“While tankers have been available in certain areas, I am advised that some constituents cannot access these, cannot access internet to know when & where these tankers are, and cannot access emergency supplies.
“I am also extremely concerned about the amount of water available to emergency services including the Fire Brigade.”
Mr Adams continued;
“This must be a serious wake-up call for the government. This disastrous situation has come about as a result of decades of underinvestment by successive administrations.
“Fine Gael slashed capital investment in water and waste water on taking office in 2011.
“They set about investing hundreds of millions of euros creating Irish Water, installing water meters and introducing water charges
“This money would have been better invested in upgrading our crumbling water system.
“More than 40% of treated water is lost in the distribution system because of leaks in outdated infrastructure
“The pipe in question is 50 years old and has been repaired previously, now it needs to be completely replaced.
“Sinn Féin has consistently called for an ambitious capital investment programme funded through general taxation to bring our water and sanitation services up to an acceptable standard. In our Alternative Budget for 2017, we outlined a range of progressive measures and investments in the upgrading of water utilities.
“The government has ignored these suggestions. The people of Drogheda are paying the price today. It is not good enough.
“We need a state-led plan for our water infrastructure and we need a water utility that is focused on delivering for the needs of citizens.”