Action Plan for Flint’s Water Crisis
After Flint changed its source of water from the Lake Huron, during a construction of a new pipeline, to Flint River, many people started complaining about health issues which included loss of hair and behavioral changes among children and teenagers. These are the general health effects of too much lead in the people’s bodies more specifically children. The reason as to why people started complaining is because the water that was flowing out of their taps was contaminated with lead and other contaminants. This contamination was as a result of the emergency managers chosen by the governor trying to cut off cost involved in the water provision. This was because the governor wanted to turn the water issue to a profit producing business (Cama, 2016). This did not turn out as he expected and In turn brought a contamination issue.
After most people were sure that the water was contaminated, they started protesting against the governor trying to make him leave office by choice and at the same time they shifted to using bottled water (Bernstein & Dennis, 2016). They also lost their trust in the state to provide clean water to them, and this called for the country to come up with an action plan that would win the trust of the people and also provide clean and healthy water.
The actions that the states need to put in place include providing access to Medicaid and other health services to those people below the age of 21 and also the pregnant women. This is because these two groups are the most affected by the health hazards of lead. Lead poisoning leads to slow fetal growth among the pregnant women (“The United States,” 2016). This process is aimed at encouraging most children to get tested for the levels of lead in their body as lead has severe effects on the body.
The second action that the system should put in place is encouraging the purchase of filters. It is believed that the use of filters can reduce the effects of lead poisoning in water to a large extent among those people above six years (“The United States,” 2016). The government also should make these filters readily available to the people at all times and even at a low price.
There should also be the encouragement of people to use the flushing method to reduce and eventually reduce the amount of lead in water. This technique involves the opening of taps in the kitchen, bath tabs and every other place in the homestead, leave the tap open for about five minutes, and this will help to reduce the number of toxins in the water (“The United States,” 2016). This process should be followed by testing of water to determine the level of contamination.
In general, the measures that should be put in place include continuous testing of water, creating awareness to the families, doing away with the water bills that the people of Flint owe to the water company, and adding anticorrosion chemicals to the water (Snyder, 2016).
For people to restore their trust on receiving clean water, the state needs to provide justice to all the affected parties, and this can be done by arresting and charging all the people who made the mess in the first place (Thompson, 2016). The state officials also need to visit the residents of Flint at home level, discuss with them the water contamination issue and assure them that such a problem would not occur again. People need to be given an assurance that the problem has been dealt with and tests to prove that the matter is correct and they will restore their trust again
The primary stakeholders involved in this action plan include Department of Environmental Quality, the governor and the state officials and the public at large to assist in correcting the mistake.
Cama, T. (2016, March 24). Michigan task force blames state government for Flint water crisis. The Hill, 23 (30), 13
Thompson, B. (2016, April 19). Michigan judge authorizes the first round of criminal charges in Flint water crisis. Christian Science Monitor, n.p.
Snyder, B. (2016, January 20). Michigan’s governor just apologized for the Flint water crisis.Fortune.com.
Bernstein, L., & Dennis, B. (2016, July 29). Six Michigan employees charged with misconduct in Flint water crisis. The Washington Post.
TheUnited States: Remarks by the President After Meeting with Federal Responders on the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis-Food Bank of Eastern Michigan-Flint, Michigan Asia News Monitor, May 6, 2016