Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 11:03 UK

Flooding in east Belfast

Flooding in east Belfast is "a very serious and ongoing problem", MLAs were told, on 11 September 2012.

The comment was made by the DUP's Robin Newton who moved the adjournment debate drawing attention to the problem.

Mr Newton said people had been told this was a once in a century occurrence, but that was not the case.

He spoke of one woman in his constituency who could not get insurance for her house because it had flooded five times.

Mr Newton said people could not understand the prioritisation of the building of "posh" offices for Department of Agriculture officials when senior citizens, children and sick people were being flooded out of their homes.

Fra McCann of Sinn Fein said the problem of flooding affected areas right across Belfast.

The UUP's Michael McGimpsey said it was the fact that flooding was continual and recurrent that made it particularly frustrating.

Judith Cochrane of Alliance related her experience of the most recent floods in the area where she lived.

She called for the earlier distribution of sand bags.

Replying to the debate, the Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy, offered his sincere sympathy to those affected by the recent floods.

He said he had visited the Belfast City Council emergency room on the night of 27 June 2012, and he thanked council workers.

"I take this issue very seriously," the minister said.

Mr Kennedy said it was not possible to eliminate the threat of flooding but, "this should not prevent us putting in place a long-term strategy".

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