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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Conor Coyle

Heated exchanges as residents leave meeting on Boho flooding frustrated

Residents in a Co Fermanagh village remain frustrated with the lack of solutions to severe flooding in the area after a recent meeting was attended by a number of agencies.

A year on from significant flooding in the Boho area which left some carers unable to reach vulnerable people, little has changed for the residents affected.

A meeting held in the area last week and attended by a number of government agencies provided ‘heated exchanges’ according to one resident.

READ MORE: Boho flooding: Carers unable to reach 93-year-old Co Fermanagh woman as residents ‘totally disregarded

While local people in Boho received assurances from emergency services that they would be able to access the area if required, local businessman Dessie McKenzie says fears of heavy rainfall remain for those in the community.

In some of the worst affected areas of Boho, people can often be left in their homes for days on end, while one road was closed for an entire month last year due to heavy rainfall.

“We were told that any mechanical solution is done on a cost valuation basis, and that the costs of any solution would outweigh any benefits,” Dessie told Belfast Live.

“We were given reassurance that emergency services would be able to cope and access the worst areas if needed during any flooding.

“It’s hard to know how that could be true given the state of some of the roads here during those floods.

“We have had situations here where cars have floated away - I just don’t understand how any ambulance or emergency vehicle would get through those floods as they were.

“No one would have come out of that meeting with much optimism. I just hope it doesn’t take a fatality in the area for any action to be taken.”

The Department for Infrastructure has said that it has carried out a comprehensive maintenance programme around the area of the Sillees River in recent years to alleviate flooding issues.

A 2009 review was carried out by the Department which found that it would not be ‘environmentally or economically feasible’ to alter water levels in the area to combat the issue.

A spokesperson said: “The Department has carried out a comprehensive maintenance programme in this area over the past number of years. In November 2021 we completed routine watercourse maintenance on a 7.5km stretch of the Sillees River between Glencunny Bridge on the Enniskillen /Belcoo Road and Thompsons Bridge in Boho. Further maintenance work is planned to commence in the next few weeks on 11km of the Sillees River between Thompsons Bridge to Carr Bridge.

“The Department has established a community resilience group in the Boho area, to help residents be more resilient to the impacts of flooding. Officials have also developed strong links with other response organisations and the voluntary sector who were in attendance at a recent meeting on 26 January 2023 in Boho Hall.

“This meeting, attended by a large numbers of local residents and elected representatives, was held to discuss the co-ordinated multi agency support that can be provided to individual properties or communities that may be cut off by flood water and require access to essential services.”


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