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A Flint resident with dreams of expanding her family believes the miscarriages she endured last year are linked to the city’s troubling water crisis.

In an interview with CNN, Nakiya Wakes recalled her pregnancy and the tragic events that unfolded. Wakes moved to the city in June 2014 and suffered her first miscarriage a year later. She was then informed she was carrying twins and the other child survived. During her second trimester, she suffered another miscarriage.

In the midst of grieving, Wakes said she came across a notice from the city, informing residents who were pregnant or over the age of 55 to stay away from the tap water.

Via CNN:

“I see something from the city of Flint saying that pregnant women and people 55 and over should not be drinking this water,” Wakes said. “I was like are you serious, and I’m just coming home to losing my babies? And now just, it could have been the water that did this?”

Wakes also wondered whether her two children have been affected by the water. Her son, Jalen, 7, and daughter, Nashauna, 16, both tested positive for lead poisoning, which is known to cause developmental delay and speech and language impediments. She told the outlet:

My son has been going to the same school for two years. Last year he was suspended one time. This year I have paperwork he has been suspended 56 times,” Wakes said.“I thought it was just the school and all that, and then I started noticing his behavior at home with just me and my daughter.

I started noticing a change in my daughter’s behavior. They’re getting more aggressive.”


“I really feel like they should be incarcerated,” she said. “I think they should be put in jail. Everybody. The governor and all the elected officials who knew about this.”

In February, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed officials were investigating a number of Flint miscarriages to determine a possible connection to the water supply. Epidemiologists are currently waiting for the 2014-2015 numbers to compare to the city’s 2013 findings. The water system in the city of 99,000 changed in April 2014, just months before Wakes’ arrival. After the switch to the Flint River, the iron and lead pipes filled with corroded water, and many children and parents began to test positive for lead poisoning.

Volunteer efforts exporting water and filter kits to the city have continued as residents push politicians to replace the city’s old lead pipes and end the problem once and for all. Governor Rick Snyder has apologized for the manmade disaster. Several leaders have resigned, such as city emergency manager Edward Kurtz, EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality chief Dan Wyant.

Five months have passed since the city returned to its normal water supply, but residents are still advised not to drink their tap water.



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