Months after the massive water contamination in Flint, Michigan made headlines, residents are still relying on bottled water but donations have plummeted.
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan president Bill Kerr told ABC 12, the organization used to send out up to 50 semi-trailer trucks a day. Now it’s sending an average of seven.
“You know, we’re not at the peak of the media’s attention right now and you know, quite honestly, the water in the state it is, where the water is drinkable in Flint now as long as you use filters, there is less need in some peoples’ eyes for bottled water,” Kerr told the station. “We will continue to supply water to the community as long as it’s needed.”
Flint residents told ABC 12 they still don’t trust municipal water supplies.
“The water’s not good now,” Steve Bryant said. “They’re saying it’s OK to drink, but it’s not. No, I don’t trust them. They lied before and they’d lie again.”
“We have to find a good balance of letting kids be kids and not dealing with what we have to deal with as parents — of being scared of the water,” Bobbie Nicks told the Detroit Free Press.
“We’re going to be on bottled water until we hear different, but even then we might not trust it,” Nicks added. “These are our children we got to worry about.”
The water crisis has resulted in at least 315 state and federal lawsuits, targeting private engineering companies involved in managing Flint’s water supply as well as state agencies and officials including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Gov. Rick Snyder, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
It may be a while until Flint residents will have a safe alternative. A review by Gov. Snyder’s office suggested the process of replacing the 20,000 to 25,000 suspected corroded pipes may ultimately cost at least $60 million and take up to 15 years.
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