The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is no light matter. And though government officials swept it under the rug until they were caught, Michigan’s governor has issued a plan he deems will help “heal Flint.”
In case you don’t know the backstory, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has been developing over a lengthy time span — since 2013, actually. The Huffington Post reports that it started when Governor Rick Snyder decided to change Flint’s water supply source.
For years, Flint has been getting its water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. However, allegedly, the Flint city council voted to change over to Karegnondi Water Authority in 2013. This was supposed to bring water from Lake Huron. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen until 2016. So, until then, the governor negotiated a deal to get the city’s water from the Flint River while awaiting that time — as a method of saving money, says the source.
Since then, every time water concerns were brought before Michigan officials, they denied there was an issue. Then, over three years, it escalated into “crisis” mode — and this was found after kids started showing insanely high levels of lead in their blood.
The Huffington Post states as follows concerning the water crisis.
“Officials denied the water’s danger right up until a local pediatrician documented high lead levels in Flint kids’ blood last fall. Lead is a deadly neurotoxin that can cause stunted growth and brain damage in young children.”
Before then, officials were telling Flint, Michigan, residents that the water was safe to drink. Well, city officials thought it was safe to drink because employees from the public water systems failed to perform routine and necessary lead testing procedures, says the source.
Regardless of “pointing the finger,” according to CNN, Governor Rick Snyder issued an open apology on behalf of Michigan’s government, as a whole. As concerns the water crisis, he told Flint residents, “Government failed you.” Verbatim, he states as follows.
“To begin, I’d like to address the people of Flint. Your families face a crisis, a crisis you did not create and could not have prevented. I am sorry and I will fix it…
“No citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe. Government failed you — federal, state and local leaders — by breaking the trust you placed in us…
“You deserve better. You deserve accountability. You deserve to know that the buck stops here with me. Most of all, you deserve to know the truth.”
However, several critics — political and authoritative — say that the water crisis was totally preventable, as opposed to Rick Snyder’s words. Documentary film director Michael Moore has even called for the arrest of Michigan’s governor on grounds of intentional negligence and racial genocide, since Flint is a predominantly black city — as mentioned by MSNBC.
After that statement was made, Snyder started taking action, and introduced a plan during his 2016 State of the State Address. As for immediate actions concerning the water crisis, Michigan’s governor proposed as follows.
“The governor has pledged the full commitment of the state to help heal Flint. Any resource available will be drawn on. To date, more than 21,000 homes in Flint have been visited to provide clean water resources. A new $22 million dollar state supplemental spending bill will fund additional bottled water, faucet filters and lead-testing kits for Flint households. The funding will also provide wraparound services, such as diagnostic testing, nurse visits and environmental assessments, as well as access to child and adolescent health centers. Funding also will help the city alleviate the need for water shutoffs, and old fixtures will be replaced in schools, daycares and hospitals.”
He also mentioned long-term actions which include long-term monitoring, special education provisions, and healthcare benefits to those who have been affected by the lead-poisoning water crisis. However, is that justice for Flint residents? What are your thoughts?