Just Over 9 Years Later, Does Flint Still Not Have Clean Water?
It's a crisis that's been talked about for nearly a decade. So, has it finally been fixed?
The city of Flint, Michigan has long been a topic of discussion when talking about access to clean water. There have been TV shows about it, like the Lifetime movie starring Queen Latifah, Flint:
Reports about higher cancer rates in Flint have been released. And, yes, some officials were indicted in relation to the Flint water scandal.
However, the problem is far from fixed in Flint. At least, that's what one, young activist is claiming.
Little Miss Flint, as she's known, has been vocal about the Flint water crisis since she was a child. Just a few days ago, she posted this on her Instagram account:
Let's start with the settlement fund. In 2021, a judge approved a $626 million settlement in the Flint water crisis but, it wasn't until March of 2023 that the final approval was given. The delay had to do with state court filings versus federal court filings. Read more here.
But, just because it's finally approved, doesn't mean people will get paid immediately.
What about the lead pipes?
According to an article from bridgemi.com, published in February of 2023, lead-lined pipes should have been replaced by 2020. However, there are still thousands of Flint residents who are still waiting for these replacements in 2023.
That excludes the mess left by excavating these pipes, including torn-up sidewalks and yards.
What about lead levels in the water?
According to a report from the city of Flint, over six months of testing, between July and December of 2022, lead levels were found to be at 9 parts per billion which is lower than the federal standard of 15 ppb.
Better, I guess. But, I'm sure, still not very comforting to the residents of Flint.
It seems that while some progress has been made, there's still a lot of work to be done for those living in Flint.
What can I do to help?
As a regular citizen, it's easy to feel lost or overwhelmed when going up against such a big problem. But, there are a couple of things you can do.
- Keep talking about it. With ongoing issues in America and across the world, it's easy for "smaller" issues to drop out of the limelight. But, Flint isn't the only city facing a water crisis. And, if you believe the metaphor "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" then you know...if you're loud about a problem, it'll eventually have to be addressed.
- You can donate. Most of us are barely getting by paycheck to paycheck. But, if you have the means, you can search for charities and organizations that are working to provide clean water to those who need it.
In fact, Little Miss Flint has her own GoFundMe to provide water filters to those in Flint and beyond. Her current goal is $1 million. See more here.