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Flint, Michigan must revamp its strategy

By Lauryn DeLaughter, Writer

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President Obama issued a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan on Jan. 16 due to lead-contaminated water.

The contaminated water in Flint has caused citizens in the Dallas Fort-Worth area to wonder what exactly was in their water. A study has shown that traces of arsenic, mercury, cyanide and more were found in small amounts in the water supply, but not enough to cause harm to the citizens.  

For the past two years, Flint has been struggling with contaminated tap water when, in an effort to save money, the town rerouted their water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a river notoriously known by the locals as a dirty river.

The oddity was the result of the corrosion of pipes that carried the water, but the city continued to assure the citizens the water was perfectly fine. Residents reported that the water tasted, smelled and looked odd. Lead poisoning from the corroded pipes lead to linked health problems such as hair loss and rashes. Soon there was discovery of diseases like E. Coli.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 11.53.55 AMImage by Katie Hoadley

 

The state addressed the problem in October. By rerouting the water back to Lake Huron, the city tried to solve the problem quickly, but the damage was already done. The city is poor, meaning those affected by the crisis do not have the financial capabilities to move away or help themselves to the best of their abilities. So, any child affected by the crisis won’t be able to receive the proper medical attention they need. These diseases will created permanent damage or long-lasting effects.   

Once the retorting was completed, the city gave out water filters and test kits. The National Guard passed out water bottles to the citizens.

Michigan governor Rick Snyder recently appointed two task forces, one to determine how this problem occurred and a second to determine long-term solutions.

This is not enough though. The state officials are acting like children trying to deflect attention away from themselves and place blame on one another. The state should take full responsibility of the crisis and stop wasting precious time playing the blame game. The time wasted could have been used to further along the progress of cleaning up the water.  

Without short-term solutions, there can not be a long-term solution. Yes, the city has created a start to solving the problem by moving their source of water back to Lake Huron and by passing out water, but the people have already suffered and the younger generations will be the most affected by the crisis.

The city needs immediate action that can create a short-term solution while the task force looks to find the long-term solution.

The state needs to first stop placing blame on everyone else and fork up the money to solve the problem. They then need to treat all who have been affected by contaminated water and continue to bring in clean water. Once that is done, they need to resolve the corrosive pipes and get the lead out of the water. This can then lead to a long-term solution so it does not happen again.

Overall, the city needs to reevaluate and figure out short-term solutions in order to create a stronger and faster long-term solution.

 

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Flint, Michigan must revamp its strategy