Jackson MI: Water is scarce, and hope is scarcer


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JACKSON, MS – SEPTEMBER 01: Members of the Mississippi National Guard hand out bottled water at Thomas Cardozo Middle School in response to the water crisis on September 01, 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson has been experiencing days without reliable water service after river flooding caused the main treatment facility to fail. (Photo by Brad Vest/Getty Images)

Manny Hernandez, Scribe Reporter

Beginning on September 3rd, 150,000 people in the city of Jackson, Mississippi found themselves without safe drinking water and with little hope for substantial improvements.

Issues with Jackson’s water system are nothing new to its residents, as many of them reluctantly came to terms with catastrophic government inaction which resulted in lackluster funding for essential water system upgrades.

This catastrophe, years in the making, ultimately came to fruition in 2021 when a harsh winter storm shut the system down for a month. Severe floods rendered the entire water treatment facility inoperative. This unfortunate turn of events left the city’s residents without water to drink, bathe, or flush toilets.

According to state officials, 108 tractor-trailers carrying water were dispatched to Jackson last week. In the state capital’s seven water delivery locations, Governor Reeves is also stationing 600 Mississippi National Guard soldiers to help distribute resources to its residents.

Meanwhile, some more recent developments include the involvement of an Environmental Protection Agency team. A much needed investigation took place where they revealed that these facilities house inoperable equipment and have inadequate staffing, which have failed to monitor the water for lead and copper and have had broken water filters for three years.

 However, for many residents, these reactive actions are not enough. From broken pipes, unpredictable toilets, and unanswered calls, they are growing weary of the government’s stagnant pushes for improvements.  

I haven’t had proper water running for at least about a year and a half.

— Kwame Braxton Washington Post

Such glaring absence of of basic human needs is even more so apparent when compared to the functional infrastructures  outside of Jackson. Their last now hope largely lies in the hands of their governor, who they are glad is putting up a fight against all odds.  

Developments continue to be made in the wake of these events as water pressure begins rising to normal levels, schools begin returning to regular programming and as new plans for strengthening the water infrastructure continue to be developed. One way you can help support many families during this crisis is to donate to the Little Miss Flint GoFundMe in order to help with water purchases to aid all those affected in Jackson.

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