Jackson, Mississippi Water Crisis Continues Despite GOP Governor’s Declaration

The Jackson city water crisis is far from over, say city officials and community activists
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JACKSON, Miss. – The Jackson city water crisis is far from over, say city officials and community activists in response to the declaration by Republican Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves that water pressure has been restored and is safe to drink.

Reeves lifted the six-week boil-water emergency on Sept. 15 and announced the state would stop distributing bottled water to Jackson residents, a city of 180,000, 80% of whom are African American. He also insisted his emergency order gave him authority over Jackson’s water services and suggested he would move to privatize the system.

“We’ve been here before where we’ve remediated water pressure issues and lifted boiled water notices,” said Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba last week after workers restored water pressure. “We’ve had many boiled water emergencies and then when the looming threat is over, those in leadership positions suddenly back away and leave us to contend with a fragile water system. It’s not a matter of if this will happen again, but when.”

Sure enough, one day after Reeves’s announcement, a boil-water alert went into effect for parts of Jackson. On Sept. 19, workers evacuated the O. B. Curtis Plant, Jackson’s primary water treatment facility, after a chlorine leak was detected.

In addition, the Department of Public Health warned pregnant people and young children to be cautious before using or consuming tap water because of the high lead levels in the water. Jackson residents have endured four boil-water emergencies since June.

Lumumba and community advocacy organizations have sharply clashed with Reeves and the GOP legislature over the crisis. They accuse them of deliberately divesting the city’s infrastructure and ongoing privatization attempts....
Read more: https://peoplesworld.org/article/jackson-mississippi-water-crisis-contin...

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