Flooding in Andersonstown and Falls

Part of Adjournment – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:15 pm on 19th May 2009.

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Photo of Fra McCann Fra McCann Sinn Féin 4:15 pm, 19th May 2009

That is a fair point. In developments on Suffolk Road, some of the pumping systems that were installed to deal with sewage have been unable to cope, and sewage has been running into local rivers.

Small housing developments put pressures on a system that was not designed to take such a flow of sewage or water. I realise that the Minister for Regional Development is in the Chamber, but this is a multi-departmental problem that can only be sorted out by taking a multi-departmental approach. Planners, the Department for Social Development, the Rivers Agency and other bodies must play their part. If we are to tackle the problem, we need to take a co-ordinated approach that the Executive should oversee.

At present, there is a lull in the construction industry because of the serious economic problems. What better time is there to develop a strategy that will deal with flooding problems? If we do not grasp the nettle, we will undoubtedly be back, time and again, to ask the same old question: where did we go wrong? The people of west Belfast demand leadership, and it is up to us to ensure that that leadership is provided.