By Q Radio News
NI Water are appealing for support following a recent threat by a masked man towards contractors working in Moyraverty Court, Craigavon. The team had to pack up and leave the site for their safety, which means essential work is not being carried out in the local community.
NI Water workers and contractors are front-line staff working to maintain essential services – that means keeping your water running and taking wastewater away from your home.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I am proud of the dedication that NI Water staff and contractors have shown over the last year and would like to thank those workers for their ongoing commitment to keeping our public services operating during this pandemic. This attack on the very people who are on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19 is unacceptable. To threaten NI Water staff and contractors whilst they are trying to service essential water-mains when they are already facing extremely difficult situations with the ongoing pandemic and the recent adverse weather conditions is reprehensible. These attacks are reckless and waste precious resources - I would call on the whole community to condemn these actions.”
Dermott McCurdy, Head of Capital Delivery at NI Water comments:
“Our contractors are in the area to carry out essential upgrades to the watermains. This work, representing a £50k investment, would have addressed structural defects to bring customers in the area a more reliable and secure water supply. For someone to threaten and intimidate them for simply doing their job, is intolerable.
“We have had no other choice but to remove the team which in turn, will delay these vital works for the whole community. They will only return when an appropriate risk assessment is completed and more importantly, when they feel it is safe for them to undertake the work.
“This is a prime example of the mindless actions of some ruining the benefits for all.
“It is important for everyone to remember that NI Water are key workers, providing a critical public service which has never been more essential to the health and wellbeing of our customers, particularly as handwashing is vital in the battle against COVID-19. Every day, NI Water staff are working to make sure that supply interruptions are avoided or minimised and ensure that our wastewater is collected and treated.
“NI Water is calling on local elected representatives to help support us in returning to the area and ensuring this doesn’t happen again.”
With a piped network of over 42,000km and over 2,000 water and wastewater installations across Northern Ireland, we are proud of how our staff continue to carry out vital work in the communities they serve. If you see our teams out working, please be assured that this is only to ensure we can meet your water and wastewater needs. We are all practising social distancing – our priority is to keep customers and colleagues safe. So please keep your distance and our workers will carry on with their essential work for you.
Information on water supply issues affecting your property are also available 24/7 simply by logging onto http://www.niwater.com/