A Highlight In A Crisis Situation

The current water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a true imbalance to its residents.  This tragedy is devastating people’s homes and endangering the future of its youth.  Due to the neglectful actions of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, the residents of Flint are dealing with lead infected tap water as the city is in a state of emergency.

This all started back in 2014 when the state made the decision to temporarily switch the city’s water supply from the Detroit water line to the Flint river.  This plan was enacted to save money, while a new supply line was being constructed to Lake Huron.  Immediately Flint residents noticed the difference, claiming their tap water looked,smelled and tasted funny.

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Tap water in a Flint hospital on Oct. 16, 2015. 9photo: Joyce Zhu /Flintwaterstudy.org

This is was the start to the problematic situation affecting Flint residents today. In the fall of 2015, researchers discovered that the amount of children with above-average levels of lead in their blood had doubled.  This brought light to the issue we are seeing now.  According to a study from Virginia Tech, the water from the Flint River is highly corrosive.  Since half of the City’s pipes are made of lead, the corrosive water caused the lead to leach into the water and into people’s homes.  The city switched back to the Detroit water system in October of 2015, but the damage had already been done.

Residents are now left with poisonous water that is deemed ‘toxic waste’.  People are forced to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and even bathing.  Simple tasks such as laundry, have forced residents to drive up to 30 miles to utilize other towns’ laundry facilities.

This avoidable crisis occurred because The State wanted to cut corners.  They failed to add the necessary anti-corrosive chemicals needed to treat the Flint River’s water, something that would have cost them $100 a day to do.  The State even went as far as changing EPA reports of lead from a F- to an A- grade.  

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Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant William Phillips helps unload pallets of bottled water at a Flint Fire Station, Jan. 13, 2016

It’s clear that Gov. Snyder needs to step down and that The State has some major work ahead to remediate the situation.  However, on a positive note, this crisis also highlights the continued support of the community.  Community groups, Lawmakers and residents have banded together to provide aid to those without safe water. Thousands of cases of water have been donated to school districts and numerous charities have been created to help fund costs like the long-term needs of Flint children exposed to contaminated water.  The National Guard has gone door to door to deliver water filters, cases of water and lead test kits to residents.  Even famed rappers like Meek Mills and Big Sean are showing their support through social media.

Ayurveda doesn’t just focus on an individual’s well-being.  The impact one has in their own community is also an integral part of the practice.  This is a perfect example of a community fighting to bring balance back to its homes.

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