Flint, Michigan’s ongoing water crisis has risen to unbelievable proportions with the local government imposing fines on households that refuse to pay for the water. There have been an abundance of donations of money to charities or directly to the city. Flint’s problems began after Detroit notified the City it will stop selling them water after a switch to a new water authority. With the new pipeline still incomplete the city of Flint turned to its own river for drinking water. Soon after making the switch citizens immediately noticed a difference and began to voice their opinions to government officials. Hearing their cities plea Flint’s government investigated the water plant and assured the residents that the problem was solved and their water was safe. In the weeks following residents began to complain about the water having a putrid taste and smell, then opted to buy bottles of water in lieu of using the city provided water.
On October 1, 2015 Genesee County declared a state of emergency, urging the citizens to not drink the city’s water until it is checked for lead. After this news went public there was a plethora of donations given to the city in support of their catastrophe. Private companies and citizens began organizing trips and donation drives providing hundreds of thousands of bottles to the city of Flint. Local celebrity Big Sean donated $10,000 to the city recently prompting more stars to follow suit, with Jimmy Fallon contributing a similar donation, and Cher donating 200,000 bottles of water.
What would really help Flint in a time like this is to join their cause and help them overturn their broken water system.
Not all of the celebrity publicity has been so cheery. Recently filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore has been calling for the arrest of Gov. Rick Snyder, and urging people to help flint in the best way possible and help them in affecting a real change. He argues that the help will cause more bad than good, siting that there are 102,000 citizens needing 50 gallons of water a day over the next 3 years and there aren’t possibly enough bottles of water to heal the situation.
What would really help Flint in a time like this is to join their cause and help them overturn their broken water system. The city needs support in their efforts to force their government to switch back to Detroit’s water. In situations like these donations and support is greatly appreciated and we should definitely continue to help but we must realize that donating is only a band aid. In order to come to and actual solution to the problem we have to think long term. Sending water now helps citizens now, but what if this drags on for years? This crisis will fade in the light of a new crisis everyone has to support. So before that happens we need to work together to come up with a long term solution instead of a patch job.