(GPA) Flint, Michigan – The administration of Michigan governor Rick Snyder argued against federal delivery of bottled water saying it is “unnecessary.”
With many people in Flint still without functioning water purification systems and lacking reasonable rations of bottled water, a state court is fighting a ruling by the federal government to deliver four cases a week to the hardest hit areas of the city. Almost two years after the city switched to getting water from the Flint River many homes are still without clean water and the distribution of bottled water is being questioned.
Under the state’s management, Flint residents are forced to either go to water distribution centers or call 2-1-1 for deliver through an already overburdened non-profit, United Way. On top of that, the residents of Flint are still being made to pay for the contaminated water coming into their homes through city lines. The state and city refuse to stop charging for this water claiming the money goes to repairing water infrastructure, the only relief the residents of the city have gotten is having their water rates reduced – they were formerly some of the highest in the nation.
Flint residents agree with the federal government that not enough is being done to help them. Many of the people who live in the hardest hit areas of the city are elderly or in poverty. The state has already been colluding with the Governor’s administration which called for an end to an internal investigation of the crisis back in May. When the people of Flint tried to them take their grievances in front a grand jury, a circuit court judge in Ingham county denied the request.
The federal government has already sent aid to the city so they are only arguing that the state needs to vastly improve their distribution system. With many of the people in the city too impoverished to leave the request by the federal court only seems fair. Even the city government agrees with this and has declined to join the state’s appeals of the federal court’s decision.
With many nations such as Slovenia recognizing clean water as a human right, it shows the hypocrisy of the Snyder administration located in the heart of the most wealthy country on the planet. Of course some in the US like the CEO of major bottled water companies such as Nestle would argue that but even the UN agrees. To prove that greed is the motivation, the only reason the state of Michigan is arguing the court order is the cost of distributing one of the few things essential for human life.
As stated above, it’s been two years since the residents of Flint began complaining to the city government about the quality of water and this problem still isn’t even close to being resolved. From Standing Rock to Flint, it seems the fight for the right to water is continuing to fall on the citizens and not the representatives they’ve elected.