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‘This is no way to live’: Mississippians struggle with another water crisis

“It seems like you have to be without it longer every time." Jackson's 150,000 residents are becoming increasingly familiar with water outages and boil advisories due to an aging and underfunded water system. Thousands of people are struggling each day in this predominantly Black city, where poorer neighborhoods are bearing the brunt of the ongoing disaster. Those who live farther from resources face greater burdens as simple tasks become complex or insurmountable. And for many Jacksonians, finding clean and fresh water is a daily struggle. “There’s never enough,” said Jackson resident Anita Carter, watching Miracle, her granddaughter, fetch more bottles between virtual classes. “We’re always looking for more water.” Chokwe Lumumba, Jackson's mayor, hosted a press conference to discuss the city's deteriorating water infrastructure. Last November, the EPA found the city to be in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the entire system was taken under federal oversight. The decision came after a brutal summer in Jackson, which saw flooding and power outages cause severe water shortages. As part of the government spending package signed in December, the US Congress allocated $600 million for redevelopment after years of chronic underfunding by the Republican-led state government. Four Republicans from Mississippi’s congressional delegation, Representatives Michael Guest, Trent Kelly, and Steven Palazzo, and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, opposed the bill. According to local reports, neither the mayor nor Ted Henifin, the city's new third-party water system administrator, would tell the media when funds would become available or what the process and order of the repairs would look like. Henifin has stated that it is anticipated that the boil advisory will be lifted in the near future as pressure is being restored throughout the city. But, he added, “even if we have just one person without water, that is too many.” What is happening in Jackson is a humanitarian crisis. However, like the city of Flint, Michigan, there has been no effectual action taken by the government to rectify these emergencies. If Jackson, Mi., was not a predominately Black city, is there a possibility that their water crisis would have been resolved by now? Comment below. Source: The Guardian


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