FIGHT 4 FLINT
Understanding the Flint Water Crisis
Flint is an old automotive manufacturing town outside Detroit, Michigan, home to 100,000 people. Over the years, the car industry has dumped thousands of tons of waste into the Flint River. These factories built their own water distribution systems from purified sources to avoid use of Flint water in their plants; a system inaccessible to the Flint community. Since the decline of the car industry, the city government decided to “save money” by not upgrading Flint’s water ways. Now, it is facing one of the worst humanitarian water problems in the United States. All the water in Flint is contaminated with lead; a highly toxic substance that is easily absorbed by the body, especially by children. Lead poisoning has irreversible effects on the brain and body. It can even alter DNA to have generational effects. Every child, adolescent, and person in Flint, or anyone who has visited Flint in the past 2 years, has lead poisoning. The deliberate decision by the local government to overlook the health, value, and humanity of its people to save $10,000 is now facing a $1 billion dollar problem and dire irreversible health crisis.
As a health epidemic, a logistical nightmare, and a complex community, political, and infrastructure disaster, the situation in Flint is extremely complex. There is the necessity for water, aid, and drastic change that is immediate but also must be sustainable. There is the consideration of the financial depravity of the area and the long term course of action to insure this problem is resolved and never repeated.
This proposal is a systematic approach about awareness, policy, and checks on the government, to create community empowerment and address the condition immediately as well as in the long run. Considering the immediate need for water, information on where there water is safe, and dealing with the consequences of waste created from plastic bottle donations, this system relies on individuals, communities, and the government to work together by collecting water, updating safe zones, distributing freshwater, and collect the recyclable waste.