WATER CRISIS: Now heads must roll

LOCAL politicians are calling for heads to roll after water supplies were restored to hundreds of homes and businesses in the borough by the weekend.

Readers contacted The Coleraine Times last week to vent their fury at Northern Ireland Water's disastrous communications failure which left local residents in the dark about the continuing distruption.

Some homes had no water for the entire week and residents had to use wash and shower facilities provided by Coleraine Borough Council.

Some elderly residents were stranded in their own homes with no access to the emergency water supplies.

SDLP John Dallat summed up the feeling of local people, saying: "Where in heavens name does the buck stop in the interests of the 40,000 consumers who had their Christmas

and New Year ruined for no good reason other than complete and utter ineptitude that the Minister and his department doesn't want to take responsibility for?

"The announcement of an Independent Inquiry into the latest debacle at Northern Ireland Water (NIW) should be regarded for what it is – a snow screen to deflect attention away from

the Minister and his Department officials who have presided over the continuing deterioration in the performance of NIW.

"The Minister appoints the chairman, the non-executive directors and the executive direc-tors and he also fires them as he did with the four non-executive directors at the bequest of the

beleaguered Chief Executive Lawrence McKenzie whom he continues to support throughout this crisis.

"Indeed we are in the crazy situation that there is virtually no one in a key position of responsibility who has the experience and knowledge to run a water utility."

Coleraine Borough Council distributed water up until and including New Year's Day.