For the past six weeks, over 4,000 of residents living in the city of Detroit have been without running water as a part of the city’s program to cut off the water to residents who haven’t been keeping up with water payments and are more than $150 in debt. The inability for the water department to collect water bills on time undermines the financial stability of the water department, and forces higher rates on customers who pay, some water officials have stated according to the Detroit Free Press.
Darryl Latimer,deputy director of the water department said many residents who receive shutoff notices do not contact the city for help in paying their bills. Though he did acknowledge that the department does not have the staff to visit those people before contractors are sent out to disconnect the water. (So wouldn’t asking for help seem pointless if they are unable or unwilling to do so anyway?)
“Detroit’s program to cut off water to residents who have not paid their bills gives the city a bad reputation in the eyes of the world” said US bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes on Tuesday as he spent the day listening to Detroit’s bankruptcy hearing. Detroit’s ability to cut off water to people already living in poverty, seniors, children and folk with disability has already come under heavy fire.
Catarina De Albuquerque, expert on Human Rights and Sanitation from the UN Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights states “When there is genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections”. The UN experts say they Detroit is violating international standards by cutting off access to water. “Are we the kind of people that resort to shutting water off when there are disabled people and seniors? We live near the Great Lakes, we have the greatest source of fresh water on Earth, and we still can’t get water here.” said Maureen Taylor, chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization states the L.A Times
Nicole Hill, a single mother and resident of Detroit who has been without water for the sixth week duration said to the L.A Times “It’s frightening, because you think this is something that only happens somewhere like Africa, But now I know what they’re going through — when I get somewhere there’s a water faucet, I drink until my stomach hurts.”
Personally speaking, I feel this whole situation is a test. Many people may not agree with me, or even understand why I say this…but please, read me out.
Detroit is one of the US major cities, with one of the highest populations in the country. As with most major cities like New York City and Los Angeles, the main goal for city and government officials is control. Food control, media control, population control, and human control. Doing something as easy as cutting off the water, (which only takes the water departments about 3 minutes to cut off water pipes) changes our lives drastically.
Serious conditions like not being able to drink whenever thirsty and inflation of water prices because there is no water running at home, to sanitation conditions like the inability to shower, flush your toilet or wash dishes and maintain a clean home. Stripping us of basic human rights and needs at the drop of a dime and at any given time shows just how powerless we are when it comes to basic human rights and the right to natural resources.
Whats happening to Detroit shows us just how dependent we are on the government, our individual cities and corporations, they are quietly showing us that we cant even have clean drinkable water if they don’t allow us to.
And now it all makes sense why the collection of rain water has been illegal right? LOL sometimes all you can do is laugh.
Stay safe out there family…it can get scary