Northern Ireland's escalating drinking water crisis is in danger of developing into a major health emergency, according to doctors. The media is reporting it but has not questioned the privatisation of water companies that makes it worse.
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are still without supplies as engineers struggle to fix burst pipes. Some families have not had fresh running water for eight days!
Northern Ireland Water (NIW), the company at the centre of the crisis, said it was unable to say when supplies would be fully restored. They are blaming leaks causef during the thaw. Empty offices closed during xmas may not even know they are leaking.
Before privatisaton the priority was collecting and distributing water. Now nothing can come in the way of making a profit. Before other regions would have been quick to help. Now they are separate companies they are thinking of profits.
Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy will have talks with officials to consider ongoing operations and the sort of swift action needed to deal with the situation.
More bottled water was due to be distributed in various parts of Belfast, one of the areas hardest hit. Arrangements were also being made to have tankers strategically placed across the province to help families, many of whom have been unable to use toilet facilities since before Christmas.
NIW faced more widespread public anger over the company's lack of contingency plans and its abysmal failure to provide adequate and up-to-date information.
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