Starting on Tuesday, Police officers in Flint, Michigan will begin delivering bottled water and water filters door-to-door in response to the city’s water crisis.
Residents there have been dependent on filtered and bottled water since it was announced the city’s drinking water is contaminated with extremely high levels of lead.
Michigan officials have yet to ask the federal government for emergency assistance, but the White House’s chief of staff told Meet the Press they are keeping a close eye on the situation.
On Monday, Pastor Bobby Jackson with the Mission of Hope joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the latest developments in the crisis that has left the Mid-West city’s water undrinkable.
When asked if he was surprised that city officials have not requested federal help, Pastor Jackson explained, “We just got a new mayor elected and she filed a petition to declare it an emergency and the governor just did and he said that before we can receive help, they have to do an assessment.”
The assessment would allow FEMA to determine just how extensive the damage is and what it would take to rectify the disaster.
Pastor Jackson told Martin they’re still waiting and “there’s no boots on the ground or federal money available to help us.”
“We’re just here on our own, but brother, we’re Americans — and Americans pull together in times of adversity, and we have to step up and do what we have to do.”
Jackson further explained how he and others in Flint are using their American will power to press through this tragic man-made disaster, saying, “I can’t dwell and wait on them to come, because if we did, we’d still be drinking that lead.”
Pastor Jackson added the effects of ingesting lead are irreversible, “stunts” children’s growth, and “inhibits their learning process.” He continued to explain that “it will be five to ten years before we know the extent of how much damage has been done to each individual.”
Pastor Jackson is helping people within the Flint, MI community obtain safe drinking water. He started passing out water to those in need back in September of 2014, and has been doing so every day since.
Jackson also said the water in Flint “was so toxic that they put so many different chemicals in it to try to make it actually drinkable — they forgot to put in a chemical that would stop it from corroding the infrastructure.”
Watch Martin, Pastor Jackson, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the water crisis in Flint, MI in the video clip above.
If you or your organization are interested in helping the people of Flint during this trying time, please email Pastor Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.