It's a rather warm Sunday Evening here in Michigan for January 31. It got up to 50 degrees today, but rainy. This weather has sure been crazy. I want to say to all those who were affected by the bad weather last week that I hope things are getting back to normal for you, and that you are now doing well.
For those in Flint Michigan about only 35 minutes north of us, I want to say we at Palcaregivers care about you. We know that many of you in Flint face the same challenges as the rest of the population in our society, when it comes to caring for older loved ones and now you have an added challenge. A horror that none of us in our day and age should have to even think about, finding safe drinking water.
My blog has always stayed politically neutral as the goal is to reach across all lines both racial and political, to share information for all who face the challenges of caregiving. However today I felt a strong need to comment on what is going on in the city of Flint.
The people of Flint, just like in every other American city, expect and deserve safe drinking water. We all expect to turn on the tap and be able to bathe, cook and clean with the water that flows out. But for those in Flint getting safe drinking water is becoming a daily chore, just as it is for many in third world countries. Why and how did this happen?
Well for those of you not familiar with Michigan, we use to be the car capital of the world. Many of those living in Flint like other cities in this state made their living from the car companies. The payroll and tax revenue from these jobs allowed many to live a middle class lifestyle and the cities thrived.
|As the car plants left so did the taxes needed to run the cities|
Then the greed of the car companies took the jobs to Mexico and other countries with cheep labor so they could make even bigger profits. It's always about profits not people. As the car plants left so did the taxes needed to run the cities. Then under poor management the cities began to fail.
Under the leadership of Governor Rick Snyder the city of Flint was put under a financial manager and the decision was made to switch from the Detroit water system to the Flint river, again in hopes of saving money. Heavily polluted water from the Flint river, from years of auto and other industrial plants dumping their waste into it, again to save money and add profits to their bottom line, began to be served up to the residents through old lead pipes just ready to leach out lead along the way. The problem could have been treated by adding a noncorrosive to the water, but again must save money...... all this money saving starting with the car companies moving out to increase profits, to this untreated water and a Governor who refused to listen when the alarm was sounded more than a year ago and now the state and the people of Flint are faced with the horrifying reality that they have been using water for almost two years that has been poisoning them on a daily basis.
|Heavily polluted water |
began to be served up to the residents
What does this mean for the future? One thing is for sure it is going to cost a lot of money to fix this problem and those residents of Flint, especially the children, will be feeling the effects of this toxic water for the rest of their lives. Just how it will effect them is yet to be seen. Some may suffer neurological problems, learning disabilities and more. As of right now the financial and physical toll this is taking on the residents is heartbreaking. Businesses such as restaurants are closing, the Governor and other state officials are dancing around the truth. And because the Flint residents are having to drink bottled water, millions, yes millions of plastic bottles will no doubt end up in land fills. There is no winner here.
Money is being raised to help the residents and I do hope that a fund will be set up to help the ongoing issues they will face in the future. I wish I could do more. But bring attention to the problem by writing about it may in some small way help others who do not know what is going on step up and do what they can.
Residents of Flint we are with you.
Until Next Time
Some News Links from the Michigan Radio - NPR webiste: