The Flint, Michigan water crisis has been rolling through our timelines and blaring through TV sets for days now. And with all the information coming at you, we want to make sure you’ve got the facts straight.
So in Jawbreaker style, we’re making it plain for you!
The water issue isn’t new news.
Flint, Michigan hasn’t had acceptable drinking water in over two years. Detroit former mayor Kwame Kilpartrick was vocal about the issue before his political decline and ultimate imprisonment. In April 2014, Governor Rick Snyder switched Flint’s water sources in an effort to cut costs. The claim is the change from Lake Huron as the residential water source over to the Flint River was intended to be a temporary switch, but in 2016 it remains the same.
It’s not just bad water.
The new water source from the Flint River was high in lead and highly corrosive, paired with the pipes transporting the water, the lead levels rose to record highs.
It’s poisoning the babies!
USA Today reports 8,657 children have been exposed to lead poisoning through the drinking water since the contamination was first reported. Since the change in water supply, the levels of lead in in toddlers has doubled.
The state said it was safe.
Despite reports from scientists there were elevated levels of lead in the water, Flint officials continued to assure the community the water was safe to drink. It wasn’t until September of 2015, officials acknowledged lead was a factor.
The President stepped in.
On January 16th 2016, President Obama signed an emergency declaration and ordered up to $5 million in federal aid for Flint to be coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.
What you can do about it.
If you want to help, Flint could really use it! The Flint Water Fund is taking monetary donations. The Flint Child Health & Development Fund works on public health and is targeting interventions for children exposed to lead. There’s also the Catholic Charities of Shiawasee & Genesee Counties.