CCTV is to be used to inspect drain damage in a bid to combat a rat infestation problem being experienced in the Bogside area of Derry.
The Housing Executive plans to put the close circuit cameras down drainage lines to discover if any damage may be compounding the problems being experienced in the area.
The move follows a multi-agency meeting held in the Bogside area on Wednesday last, which was organised by Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue and saw residents meeting with representatives from housing bodies, Bogside and Brandywell Initiative (BBI), NI Water, Environmental health, Pest control and Dove House.
A Housing Executive spokesperson said: “We are aware of the current situation and have been working hard in an attempt to find a solution to this ongoing problem.
“Senior officials attended the public meeting and have agreed to flush out the drainage lines associated with our properties and put CCTV through the drainage lines to inspect for damage.”
The spokesperson confirmed that two of its own Housing Executive properties are affected in the Abbots Walk area. “Work has been completed to one property in the Elmwood area, which is currently being monitored,” she continued. “We will continue to work with other statutory agencies and pest control specialists to find a solution to these ongoing problems.”
Colr. Logue welcomed a commitment from the statutory agencies to find a multi-agency solution. She said: “It’s vital that we can identify the exact scale of the rat infestation throughout the area. Extra resources are needed to ascertain the source of this problem in order to bring it to and end. No family should be forced to live in these conditions, particularly those with young children. The Housing Executive have committed to working with people living in their properties to make arrangements to provide an immediate alleviation to their individual problems.”
A follow-up meeting will be held on Monday.