The handling of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis was kind of catastrophic. The small city of around 100,000 made headlines in recent weeks when news surfaced that inadequately treated water — sourced from the Flint River as of April 2014, and funneled through corrosive and aged pipelines till October — left the community with drinking water containing chemical byproducts, E. coli and lead.
As pinpointed by the CDC, there are no safe levels of lead exposure, and even low level trace amounts can cause lifelong complications and developmental drawbacks for young children. Additionally, the transition from Lake Huron to the Flint River is also suspected to be associated with an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the county, which has killed 10 people and affected another 77 thus far. Adding insult to injury, Flint residents are currently still expected to produce payment for their water bills, for months of E. coli and lead contaminated water. Understandably, people are fucking pissed. If you’d like to hear verbal quotes from (former) city officials who proactively kept this an ongoing issue for six months, refer to the reporting below.
These are times when you can genuinely come in handy, if for instance, you happen to be a biologist, environmentalist, concerned pediatrician or a wealthy celebrity willing to offer clean water, time, funding for research or a willingness to use your voice to circulate enough attention to remove lackluster employees from seats of authority.
While the water crisis is still a ways away from being resolved — remaining health scares, excess financial burdens and a huge fear of trusting faucet water for future use among the issues — small strides are being taken to rectify damage done.
This week, Detroit-native Eminem, along with Wiz Khalifa, Diddy and Mark Wahlberg, teamed up to fund the donation of one million bottles of water through Diddy and Wahlberg’s joint LA-based water venture, AQUAhydrate. Last week we saw Meek Mill donate 60,000 bottles of water to Flint, later joined by Big Sean, who donated $10,000 towards the cause several days later. Additionally, LA native, The Game — despite currently being on tour in Europe — pledged $1,000,000 towards the crisis as well. We do what we can.