The Water Crisis is Not Over
What was the primary cause of the Water Crisis? A lot of people were suffered from harmful tap water that was ignored by public institution for a long time. Flint changed water supply system. It didn’t have enough money to keep past one. Before shifting it, Flint got from Detroit’s water system. Flint started to use water from Flint River. It was beginning of the problem. In the case of Flint, the poor economy caused the Water Crisis.
Some residents were skeptical about this new resource, “particularly since Flint-based General Motors had once used the river as a dumping ground” (Julia, 2016). Little by little, residents started to notice that this tap water was harmful for them. One of them was LeeAnne Walters. She had a experience that she realize she had to take action against this problem. It was story when she was getting ready for bed when her child’s scream. “She ran upstairs to find 18-year-old Kaylie standing in the shower, staring at a clump of long brown hair that had fallen from her head” (Julia, 2016). After this happened, she began to gather information and she began to know that low quality water had a huge effect for especially children. “The family was suffering from the effects of lead in Flint’s water supply—contamination that will have long-term, irreversible neurological consequences on the city’s children” (Julia, 2016). With long period, symptom cause lower IQ and decrease of children’s attention. Also, one study showed that in the long term, the material increases rates of crime and teen pregnancy. Her fighting for safe and drinkable water was started. She tried a lot of ways to complain about the terrible situation. Finally, her claim was expanded to public. However, she still didn’t feel satisfied. This is because every time she got a call from another mother who has sick child, she feels sorrow. Therefore residents, including her still kept fighting.
After the revelation of problem, the Flint Water Advisory Task Force was created, and final report was released by the Flint Water Advisory Task Force. The task force is a group to make doubly sure that who is to blame for the harming of tap water in Flint. The five-member task force made the report after it interviewed 63 people and reviewed a lot of data. In this article, co-chair Ken Sikkema mentions that the report doesn’t show exactly about state agencies and local agencies. He was a state Senate majority leader. His idea from the report was that Flint was just one example of a lot of cases of similar problems, so people have to expand that valuable information.
What can people learn from these experience and report? And do they prevent such an infringement of environmental justice? There is some advice. For example, individual citizens must take part in the important decision. Water safety is one of the most important right for them. If they feel anxiety that their water is safe, they should take an action and check it by them self. Also, politicians and bureaucrats should have reconsidered that plan as soon as they could when they realize that the water system had serious problem.
Some people believe the issue was caused by racial discrimination. It is true that race is so unbalanced. However it was just afterthought. Unfortunately, Flint didn’t have enough money to run well. Poor economy gives people stress, and it makes them stupid. As a result, they make terrible decisions. It was fact that the poor economy in Flint was one reason to cause this the Flint Water Crisis. If Flint have enough money to modify the plan, it can admit to a mistake quickly and change the plan. However, it didn’t have money. This is because there was big and profitable car factory, so Flint flourished for a time, but now car factory gets weak. Therefore, Flint has still a certain population, but people tend to be poor and Flint economy is severe. As a result, politicians and bureaucrats chose low quality water system because of cost instead of safety. It was terrible decision, but there was intelligible reason.
Not only Flint, but other places have also suffered from water crisis or they have possibility to get the problem. Water is necessary for all people to live. But sometimes people do not take water seriously. One reason is money. Poor economy makes people stupid and induces people to make awful decisions. There are many societies they have severe economic situation. People have to pay attention to what is most important for them and they should protect their right to have clean and drinkable water supply, which ensure their life based on social justice.
Flint water crisis is one case which affront to social justice. People ignored social justice and importance of safe water at the same time. What is social justice? “Social justice is a process, not an outcome” (Berkeley Social Welfare, 2017). It means that social justice is an approach to seek fair and to distribute resources, opportunities, and responsibilities. Also, it is challenging the roots of oppression and injustice. Social justice is definitely one of the most important right for people. However, in this case, people lost it. Therefore, this incident is very arguable problem to think about social justice. Solutions for this issue are built on social justice. Therefore, it is time that people have to define it again.
Hakara J. (2016, March 23). Task force: Flint water crisis was “environmental injustice,” and the state is to blame. Retrieved from http://www.michiganradio.org/post/task-force-flint-water-crisis-was-environmental-injustice-and-state-blame
Julia L. (2016, January 21). Meet the mom who helped expose Flint’s toxic water nightmare. Retrieved from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/01/mother-exposed-flint-lead-contamination-water-crisis/
Berkeley Social Welfare (2017). Social justice symposium about. Retrieved from https://socialwelfare.berkeley.edu/social-justice-symposium-about