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Activists call for more help for Flint residents on World Water Day

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Friday is World Water Day.

In Flint, nearly five years after the city’s disastrous drinking water switch, activists are calling for more to be done to help city residents recover from Flint’s lead-tainted tap water crisis.

Members of the group, Color of Change, carried boxes containing 15,000 petition signatures into Flint city hall to mark World Water Day.

The petitions call for government help replacing damaged indoor pipes and water heaters in Flint homes.

Dawnisha Mosley is a Flint mother of two who says her tap water still occasionally tinted orange. She started the petition.

“I’m trying to get a solution to the problem before it’s put to the side,” says Mosley. 

Hundreds of millions of dollars has been spent replacing service lines, providing educational and medical assistance and other programs. 

But the activists insist the city’s residents have still not been made whole.

“That’s the only way we’re going to be able to secure flesh clean water for the residents and our folks in Flint,” says Ariana Hawk, the Michigan organizer for Color of Change.

A state-appointed emergency manager decided to switch Flint’s drinking water source to save money. But improperly treated water from the Flint River damaged pipes, releasing lead into the city’s drinking water. 

While tests have shown Flint’s tap water is now within federal and state standards for lead, city residents remain leery of drinking or washing in city water. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.