The drinking water supply to the troubled Roma neighbourhood Lunik IX in Košice is to be turned back on, the TASR newswire learnt reported, citing Košice City councillor and co-ordinator for Lunik IX Miloš Ihnát, on Wednesday, October 10. The supply system was shut down after pipes in Roma households were stolen.
According to Ihnát, however, the news about drinking water being restored as of October 11 – albeit for just one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon – stirred up a storm of protest among local Roma. "Some hundred Roma gathered and protested nervously. They demanded that the water be turned on twice a day for four hours," Ihnát said, as quoted by TASR. Roma residents reportedly said that they would not allow water company employees to have access to the neighbourhood to restore the water supply under the current circumstances. "This is only a trial operation for two weeks and they could have water as they demand from then on," Ihnát added.
Lunik IX has been supplied with drinking water only by tanker-truck since August 1, with the water supply being shut down due to suspicions of water wastage from local households. Upon investigation, the water company employees discovered that pipes in Roma households had been stolen and that water was flowing from the remaining pipes straight into the sewers.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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