For a year and a half, Flint residents have been consuming and showering in lead contaminated water, leading to high levels of toxic metal in their blood creating behavioral and IQ problems in children.
Thousands of people remained affected by the water crisis but the state and federal Government did nothing. In fact, the water crisis only managed to gain attention over the last few months. As a result, a number of affected people demanded the resignation of Gov. Rick Snyder for not being proactive and letting the problem blow out of proportion.
Now, as hundreds of faucet filters have been installed in Flint to make the water useable, Snyder is urging people to go back to using tap water, convincing them that the filter makes it safe enough. He has thus taken it upon himself to drink filtered Flint water for at least a month, starting today.
The governor even visited a local resident, Cheryl Hill’s home and drank the filtered water with her.
Snyder plans to get water refills from other people’s homes as and when needed. He stated it’s only fair if officials who have announced the water is safe enough for drinking, must drink the same water as the public.
I also spoke with her about her water use, the use of filters, and collected #FlintWater to personally drink at work & at home.— Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) April 18, 2016
He is also using his Twitter account to educate people on the right ways to use their faucet filters.
Snyder’s initiative toward acting as a part of the public and consuming the same water they do is indeed a step in the right direction, but one can surely question what took him so long to take any action. The Flint water crisis first erupted in 2014, but only gained attention towards the end of 2015 and January 2016 when President Obama declared a state of emergency.
It is certain that a crisis like this, affecting the lives and health of thousands, surely deserves more attention than what was given. The government has taken rather long to step up and face the issue, but hopefully the installation of filters, and Snyder’s active participation during this crisis, will restore the availability of safe, drinking water.
However, people don’t seem very impressed by his rather late move, and here’s what they have to say.
Dumbest PR move I have seen yet coming out of Governor Snyder's office. Try drinking Flint's unfiltered water... https://t.co/wdVhEJHrZF— Geri Jarvis (@GeriJarvis) April 19, 2016