If You Thought The Flint Water Crisis Was Over, Watch This
Governor Snyder announced the end of free bottled water distribution for Flint residents recently, and lead levels are down. That means the Flint Water Crisis is over right?
Anytime I travel outside of Genesee County and I tell anyone that I work in Flint, the first question is about the water. This shouldn't be a huge surprise to anyone that lives or works in Flint. The big shocker comes when the people who are asking about the water crisis automatically assume that it's completely fixed.
They think that since the news isn't talking about it anymore, and the celebrities have stopped donating, that the people of Flint are doing just fine.
Oh, and this idiot isn't helping either.
You may be asking yourself, "If the data shows that the lead is down, what's the problem with ending the free water distribution?"
The problem is not with the data, even though there have been plenty of studies showing that the water still is not safe to drink. The problem has to do with one single word . . .
The state, city, and federal officials spent nearly two years telling everyone that the water was safe to drink. Despite it being discolored, smelling foul, and making people sick.
The officials then were forced to admit there was a problem, but only after an independent study was done by Dr. Edwards. When Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha proved that kids in Flint were getting sick because of the water, the action finally started.
The problem is that everyone knew that bottled water was just a band-aid and that most of the infrastructure needed to be replaced. That would cost millions of dollars. Considering that an effort to save money was the driving force in starting the Flint Water Crisis, it should come as no surprise that spending money to properly fix it has never been a top priority.
But don't worry, the water is fine to drink right?
Let's pretend for one minute that the water is safe to drink. Let's even give the state some credit and say that it's safe to drink with a filter. That's not why everyone in Flint is so pissed off.
We are pissed off because we were lied to OVER AND OVER AGAIN! We were told there was no problem. Now multiple people face manslaughter charges over their role in the Flint Water cover up.
Nothing will be OK until trust is restored. If that means free bottled water until every last lead pipe is replaced, then that's what Michigan officials need to do!
Michigan had the chance to show the rest of the country how to deal with a tragedy caused by aging infrastructure. This could have been the defining moment in Flint's recovery. Instead, we are forced to explain to people why the Flint Water Crisis is not solved yet, and most likely never will be.