Today is my born day
Which, yay, woohoo, confetti & streamers and cake. Sweet.
But before you tell me happy birthday or anything similar, will you do something really important?
Tell five people about the Detroit Water Crisis.
There’s a lot of really horrible, horrible things going on all at once in the world, but I can’t think of any burgeoning humanitarian crisis that is so blatantly caused by corporate greed and negligence.
The basic explanation (via the Detroit Water Brigade website):
40% of Detroit’s population is about to have their water shut off -
The Detroit Water and Sewage Department is conducting mass water shut offs in Detroit Michigan which will effect over 120,000 account holders over a 3 month period (June-September 2014) at a rate of 3,000 per week. This accounts for over 40% of customers who are using the Detroit Water system and has been dubbed a violation of Human Rights by various organizations. 70,000 of those accounts are residential accounts which could amount to anywhere from 200,000-300,000 people directly effected.
..dehydration becomes an immediate threat to Detroit residents. A lack of clean and drinkable water on a scale of this size can effect not only the person but the entire city almost immediately. The onset of dehydration is 1-2 days, which, if left untreated can result in death in as little as 5-14 days from the onset. Making sure Detroit residents have a supply of clean drinkable water is our top priority.
Sanitation is the second concern. With lack of water for basic things like waste removal, food preparation and cleanliness of food preparation tools, disease can become a threat factor in a matter of weeks, if left unchecked disease can spread in 2 months time.
Without water, the threat to the health and safety of Detroit residents becomes immediate, the resulting negative effects of mass water shut offs begin just 2 days after shut off and can become endemic in just 60 days time. When taking the scope into account (120,000 water accounts or 300,000+ people ) the implications become clear; this is a disaster zone – and immediate relief and preparation is needed.
The shutoffs are disproportionately affecting black residents of Detroit and—as with any habitat crisis—pose the greatest risk to children and the elderly. Some of you might already know what all Detroit has been through as a city in the last decade. If you don’t, rest assured: they must not be made to suffer through this, too.
The Detroit Water Brigade has a few options for people who wish to donate. If you can, or one of the five people you talk to about this can, I really really recommend using their Amazon registry to directly supply drinking water or affordable water purifiers for dispersal.
Please, please. Before you tell me “Happy Birthday,” tell people about Detroit.