Water woes continue to plague Flint a decade after start of crisis

FLINT – About 75 people gathered outside the Peoples Church on Thursday in this mid-Michigan city known around the world for the public health disaster that stemmed from its lead-tainted municipal water.

They carried signs that said, “Water is a human right,” and chanted, “What do we want? Clean water! When do we want it? Now!” as they marched, arms linked, from the church, down the streets, across a bridge over the Flint River, and toward City Hall.

Their voices cut through the brilliantly sunny spring day, marking 10 years since an unelected emergency manager made the catastrophic decision to change the source of the city’s drinking water from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure.

People march along Garland Street in downtown Flint during the 10th anniversary commemoration of the start of the Flint water crisis on Thursday, April 25, 2024.

The switch, which took place April 25, 2014, triggered a cascade of problems with the water quality in Flint. Lead, a neurotoxin, leached from the city’s aging pipes and into the water that flowed from the faucets, causing irreparable damage, especially in children, whose brains and bones were still developing.

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