Belfast Telegraph

1,000 children stay at home as schools close

By Chris Kilpatrick

More than 1,000 children were forced to stay at home after their schools were closed due to the water crisis.

Across Tyrone and Fermanagh, 1,053 children were affected.

The Western Education and Library Board said 10 schools in its area were closed due to problems with water.

A Co Tyrone school which had been used as an emergency water collection depot was forced to close after its supply was hit.

Killen Primary School in Castlederg was among thousands of properties across the west of Northern Ireland without water as the crisis continued.

Principal David Crawford confirmed that all 103 pupils were safely sent home thanks to a texting system.

Yesterday afternoon, 7,750 properties remained without a water supply, with NI Water warning of further disruption due to problems at Lough Bradan treatment works, resulting in continued disruption to water supplies in west Tyrone. Areas affected included Castlederg, Drumquin, Kesh, Killen, Lack, Dromore, Ederney, Irvinestown, Lisnarick, Clonelly and Drumskinny.

Farmer Wills Robinson said it was vital somebody took control.

"This has been dragging on now for several weeks," said Mr Robinson, who is also a DUP councillor.

"It's high time the union representatives, NI Water and the DRD minister recognised the impact this is having on businesses and families and moved to get a solution."

Last week 10,000 homes were affected by water shortages, with 9,000 hit on Monday night.

A spokesman for the water company said: "NI Water fully recognises this is a frustrating experience for our customers, and can assure them we are doing everything possible to restore water supplies.

"NI Water would like to once again thank our customers for their continued patience whilst this problem is being resolved.

Belfast Telegraph


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