Poor Americans: ‘We do not have enough clean water to wash our hands’

Detroit Department of Water employees talk to residents about re-supplying water. Photo: Reuters.
Detroit Department of Water employees talk to residents about re-supplying water. Photo: Reuters.

Many households in Detroit (Michigan, USA) still have their drinking water cut off and there is no water to wash their hands against the Covid-19 epidemic.

The cold winter months are a bad time for Valaria Griffin, a resident of Detroit. According to NBC News, the city management has cut off the Griffin family’s drinking water since the end of last year for not paying the US $ 400 bill for repairing the pipe valve.

The money is beyond the ability to pay, the 55-year-old woman’s family is forced to rely on bottled cans of everyone’s support for eating and bathing.

Valaria Griffin uses water bottles that people support for cooking, bathing and drinking. Photo: NBC News.
Valaria Griffin uses water bottles that people support for cooking, bathing and drinking. Photo: NBC News.

This went on until the Covid-19 epidemic struck the United States. People are required to stay indoors and wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of the new strain of corona virus originating from Wuhan (Hubei Province, China).

Griffin is one of millions of people across the United States whose water is cut off from drinking water. Ms. Griffin is unable to maintain the hygiene required by health officials.

The simplest thing for every American now is the great difficulty for the poor people who are living in the shortage of running water. “I am stressed and desperate. I cannot keep it clean during this outbreak, even washing my hands,” she lamented.

The number of Americans living in water shortage is unknown, but a Food & Water survey in 2016 showed that on average in every major US city, 5% of households were cut off water each year. .

It is estimated that there are 15 million people in the United States without access to water. Due to the complicated development of Covid-19, Michigan governor and Mayor of Detroit announced the re-supply of water from March 9.

At the same time, the city will limit households’ water payments to US $ 25 per month and allow them to postpone repaying the old water until the epidemic ends.

In addition, 44 other cities have begun to supply water to the poor. City, state and local plumbers associations will pay repair costs to restore these households’ water systems.

However, according to locals, this job takes too long. Ms. Griffin said her family had to wait until April 2 to get water back. The Detroit Department of Water and Drainage says 700 households have been re-supplied with water, and the rest is under repair.

The shortage of drinking water in Detroit has been going on since 2014. Some families are forced to reuse water because of deprivation. They boil a pot of water to cook noodles, then add soap to wash and pour that water into the toilet to flush.

Protesters protest against mass water cuts in downtown Detroit on July 18, 2014. Photo: Reuters.
Protesters protest against mass water cuts in downtown Detroit on July 18, 2014. Photo: Reuters.

“Does this exist in a country called the leader of the free world?”, The president of the organization We The People of Detroit pressing.

City records show that at least 2,800 households in Detroit have no running water, while many experts estimate the actual figure could be higher.

At the same time, several recent reports indicate a large number of new cases of coronavirus infection in Detroit. Hundreds of city residents including police and firefighters have been infected with Covid-19 or are being quarantined.

Source: https://behecare.com/

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