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Ten Years After Flint Water Crisis, A Lack Of Urgency Stalls "Proper Justice" According To Report

Ten years ago, the decision to switch Flint, Michigan's water source, to the Flint River initiated a prolonged public health crisis. This switch led to water contamination due to corroding pipes, highlighting the vulnerability of impoverished, majority-Black communities to governmental mismanagement. Despite a $626 million settlement in 2021, Flint residents have yet to see any financial relief.


"It's been the residents, the poisoned people, on the front lines this entire fight," said Melissa Mays, a social worker and activist. "It's been exhausting because it's ongoing."


Mayor Sheldon Neeley asserts that efforts to eradicate contaminated water are nearing completion, citing the replacement of water service lines for nearly 30,000 properties. However, the process has faced significant delays, and about 1,900 properties still need their lines inspected. The city faces accusations of non-compliance with court orders concerning these replacements.


"The local government just keeps making up excuses for why they haven't solved the problem," he said. "We need to turn that around and fix the problem now in Flint and take steps to fix the problem nationwide," Erik Olson, senior strategic director for health and food with the Natural Resources Defense Council said. "They're within fighting distance of finishing the job."


The crisis started in 2014, when officials opted to use river water temporarily, leading to widespread complaints about water quality. Despite initial assurances, the water was found to contain harmful levels of lead and other contaminants. This had devastating health implications, particularly for children, and was linked to a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. Efforts to address the contamination, including federal emergency aid, have been ongoing, but residents like activist Melissa Mays continue to fight for justice and proper accountability, highlighting the ongoing suffering and frustration in Flint.


As we mark a decade since the onset of the Flint water crisis, it's imperative that we recognize the ongoing struggle for justice and systemic change in Flint, Michigan. The community's fight against governmental negligence and the violation of their basic human rights to clean water continues without proper resolution. This lack of action not only reflects a broader pattern of disregard for marginalized communities but also challenges us to demand accountability and real change.


Link: NBCNews

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