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Update on Flint Michigan

JaCarla Anderson, Writer

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Flint, Michigan went through a major water crisis starting in April of 2014. Flint’s water was contaminated by lead.

At a Flint City Council meeting there was a seven to one vote to approve a resolution for the purchase of a cost-saving water supply from the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) instead of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). After this switch, the DWSD sent out a letter of termination on April 17, 2013. This termination would be effective in 12 months. “The quality of the water being put out meets all of our drinking water standards, and Flint water is safe to drink,” said the DEQ office the following year.

Soon after the switch to KWA, there were complaints about the color of the water and rashes that were forming. Soon some shared concerns about bacteria in the water. Turns out there was e-coli bacteria in the water. At the Flint City Hall, residents attended with jugs of discolored water. This water tasted and smelled funny. On Jan 2, 2015 Flint finally warned its residents that the total trihalomethanes (a disinfectant byproduct that can cause liver and kidney problems) had exceeded federal limits.The city should have taken action at this point in time instead of waiting for the condition to get more severe.

It took over two years for Flint to investigate and try to solve the lead problem in the city. City officials took their time acting upon the crisis, stating, “the water meets the standards so it must be ok.”

But IT wasn’t, there were so many chemicals in the water that weren’t as visible but were still there. Just because the chemicals weren’t affecting anyone at the time, does not mean it was not always present. Lead in the water built up over a long period of time. The Flint, Michigan water crisis reflects upon poor and neglectful leadership. This crisis could have been caught a lot quicker had the city officials took the time to act upon the problems when they first surfaced. Instead they labeled them harmful, but did not do anything about it. They left their citizens in a big chaotic lurch.

The fault of the Flint, Michigan crisis is at the feet of the governor Rick Snyder.

“No citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe,” said Snyder in an interview. He apologized to the citizens of Flint and he sent out to the public all emails involving the crisis on Jan 20. The city officials didn’t care about the community because it was not as wealthy as other communities. Flint is known as one of the poorest cities in Michigan. There are so many people living below the poverty line in Flint–according to U.S. Census 40.1 percent are living in poverty.

According to mlive.com, the city of Flint is “ the second most poverty-stricken city in the nation for its size, just behind Youngstown, Ohio.” It stands to reason that a poor black community is not a priority in the eyes of city officials. Now, if this had been a predominantly white community, the city would have taken action before there was even a sign of a problem. Because only the white race gets the best treatment, and that is really sad in this day and age. Its frustrating that the people of Flint had to go through what they went through for so long. They didn’t have access to the same quality of water that we use for everyday activities, like drinking, cooking, or showering.

Recently the Senate approved 270 million dollars worth of aid for Flint on September 15, 2016.Things are finally looking up for Flint, as people are continuing to help this community out of this crisis.

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Update on Flint Michigan