Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called on the Infrastructure Minister to clarify what measures are being taken to protect water service staff continuing to carry out essential services.
Martina Anderson was commenting after NI Water revealed that staff shortages are expected in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and that difficulties are already being experienced in obtaining hygiene, welfare and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) products for front line staff.
The Foyle MLA commented: “Like all workers providing essential public services, NI Water employees are entitled to expect that they will be supplied with the proper equipment so concerns over the lack of hygiene, welfare and PPE products are very worrying.
“NI Water has also confirmed that staffing levels may come under stress and supply chain issues may arise as a result. Once again, like many other public services, staff are being lost because of the lack of widespread community testing for Covid-19 here.
“Such testing would enable key workers who test negative to return to work. Instead they are being forced to self-isolate and the pressure on our essential services is increased.
“I am calling on the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to outline what steps she is taking to address these difficulties and ensure protections are in place to enable front-line staff to continue carrying out essential services.”