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Something in the Water: The Flint Water Crisis

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Lead pollution in Flint, Michigan’s water is poisoning its people, and it has been a problem for over a year. The governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has declared a state of emergency for Genesee County and the water crisis is being investigated.

The poisoning of the water is due to Michigan’s switch from Lake Huron to the Flint River, whose water is polluted by farm runoff, sewage, and decades of industrial waste. However, the most fault is in the actions of the state officials, who have neglected their duties in ensuring Flint has clean, drinkable water. Instead of signing a contract with the Detroit water supply, Flint officials decided to hastily build pumps to the water from the polluted river.

The problem wasn’t the river, but the corrosive nature of the water from the river dragging out the lead from the city’s old piping. Although the city was treating the water, it didn’t help.

“It’s a human tragedy to be in America, to be struggling for the most basic of necessities, and to watch kids, about 9,000 of them, to be contaminated with lead poisoning,” Rev. Daren Jaime of People’s AME Zion Church in Syracuse, N.Y. “I think people have a sense of compassion for the people of Flint knowing that a basic right, something we need on a day-to-day basis, has been taken away from them.” 

Solutions have been offered to Flint residents as the actual problem can’t be easily fixed. Planned Parenthood and other government agencies have made action to help the people by handing out free water filters. Some citizens switched to water bottles, and several efforts have been made so that anyone can donate money and water to the people of Flint:

Salvation Army Donations

United Way Flint Water Fund

Community Foundation, Greater Flint

Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

While many efforts have been and will be made, much of the damage done to the Flint community can’t be undone. Lead poisoning can affect IQ, cause learning disabilities, skin lesions, hair loss, vision loss, memory loss, depression, and anxiety.

For more information on donating, visit The Washington Post.

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Something in the Water: The Flint Water Crisis