Residents in Flint Michigan are thirsty for answers after their water supply has become undrinkable.
News of the contaminated “water” made a splash a few months back when penny-pinching city officials made the decision to switch the supply from Detroit to the local Flint River in 2014.
Response to the crisis has been slow; President Obama only recently calling a state of emergency after cases of lead poisoning, falling hair and skin rashes made it to the mainstream.
As if the dirty water wasn’t hard enough to swallow, residents are also being asked to continue paying up to $200 a month for the privilege of receiving the toxic liquid.
Flint officials have confirmed that although the water is now coming from Detroit, it could be a year or more before it is safe again. In the meantime, bottled water and filters are being distributed to people living in the area.
Quite rightly, the crisis is garnering worldwide attention fuelled by celebrities and social media, with officials standing accused of deliberately poisoning the predominantly black city.
While it may be a step too far to make accusations of deliberately putting Flint’s inhabitants in danger, it is clear their cost saving measures did not pay any notice to the duty of care for those living there.
Claims the river was known for being dirty and corrosive will have to be answered by those in charge –- no doubt high-ranking figures will lose their jobs if there is any justice in this world. However, heads rolling will do nothing to reverse the high levels of lead found in children in the area since the debacle began.
What started off as a cost saving measure could end up crippling the city financially as lawsuits by those affected start mounting up. However, there is always a chance Flint officials manage to wriggle their way out of this one which would undoubtedly leave a bitter taste in the the mouths of Flint’s residents.