Jessica Owens holds up a baby bottle of water from her home in Flint, Mich., while attending a hearing on Capitol Hill about Flint's water crisis. PHOTO CREDITS: Molly Riley/AP via NPR
A few recent developments are beginning to bring justice and change to the residents of Flint, MI who have been plagued by contaminated water for years. Back in 2014, the city of Flint began to draw water from the Flint River instead of Detroit in an effort to save money. This change put 100,000 people’s lives at risk as it became immediately apparent to residents that this water was not safe. Many complained about the smell, taste, and dirty appearance of the water, also reporting rashes and hair loss among other concerns.
"The families of Flint have experienced a tragic, tragic health and safety crisis for the past three years" ~ Michigan’s Attorney General, Bill Schuette - 6/14/17 press conference
After obtaining national attention for the water crisis last year, forces have come in place to help fight this injustice. Just a few months ago, the State of Michigan agreed to spend $87 million to replace lead pipes in Flint causing the contamination. These funds would allow the state to replace all the pipes by January 2020, which could reach nearly 18,000 homes.
The latest update in Flint has been the charging of involuntary manslaughter upon 5 government officials involved in the water crisis. This has to do with the lack of public warning for an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease (a kind of pneumonia) that killed 12 people and sickened more than 70 in 2014 and 2015.
While these developments are encouraging, it still doesn’t change the fact that Flint residents haven’t had safe, clean drinking water in over 1,000 days. There is still much to be done for justice to be served.
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) June 10, 2017