Jaden Smith's Foundation Steps Up To Provide Clean Water To City Suffering From Water Crisis In Michigan

Jaden Smith's Foundation Steps Up To Provide Clean Water To City Suffering From Water Crisis In Michigan

The actor and rapper's foundation has teamed up with a church to provide the Michigan city with a water filteration unit.

Over the weekend Jaden Smith made his way back in the news. The 20-year-old recording artist, actor, and activist has decided to step up and help solve the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Jaden Smith's JUST Water Foundation announced that it would be collaborating with the First Trinity Baptist Church in a mission to bring free, mobile water filtration systems to the residents of the city. It has been around five years since the Michigan city rerouted its water supply from the Flint River instead of Lake Huron. The move definitely saved a lot of money but the water from the river is said to be a lot more corrosive. It even ended up breaking down the city's outdated pipes. This ended up in lead entering the water supply. Free drinking water is no longer being provided to the residents of the city as the outdated pipes are yet to be replaced. Jaden Smith who is not just an artist but also the owner of a bottled water company, JUST Water, has taken a stance to lend his expertise into the crisis, according to a report in The Root.

There are other organizations that are said to be teaming up with the water foundation and the church. These organizations will work on the ground in Flint. Some of these groups are The Last Kilometer, Rethink H2O, Black Millennials for Flint, and 501CTHREE. The aim is to supply more portable drinking water to the residents of the city. They’re providing the church with what they call a 'Water Box', a mobile filtration system that they say will remove lead from local water and make it drinkable. The contamination problem is yet to be resolved even though the Governor claimed to have fixed it last April.


The church has been providing drinking water to the residents of the city but lately, their donations have slowed down, making it difficult for them to meet the demand. Recent tests have revealed that the local water supply has lead within acceptable levels (12 parts per billion, while federal regulations allow for up to 15 parts per billion). However, scientists argue that no level of lead in water is safe for children to consume. JUST Water is said to provide the city with a water filtration system which will be stationed at the church. The residents of the city will be allowed to come and fill their own containers between 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays. 


Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jaden's mother, said that she would help find a long-term solution in the meantime. She has also donated a sum of money in order to find a permanent solution to the problem in Flint The city has been searching for ways to resolve the crisis for years. They have identified about 18,000 lead pipes that needed to be replaced. As of December last year, 8000 of them were replaced. The city claims to be ahead of schedule in terms of replacing outdated pipes. However, at the current rate of pipe replacement, the Michigan city will be receiving corrosive, lead-filled water for several years more.


The residents have been very worried about the water situation. On many occasions, they have expressed their concern and have claimed to not trust the water until all the pipes have been replaced. They do not trust the test results. Well, you can't really blame them. The city and the government officials denied the fact that the water was contaminated for a good two years. This was right after the switched sourcing their water from Lake Huron to Flint River. As soon as the switch was made, children were seen to be falling sick more often, there were complaints about the foul smell of the water.


Residents spent those two years drinking, bathing, and cooking with water contaminated with high levels of lead. Testing found that thousands of Flint children had dangerous levels of lead in their bloodstream (which can seriously affect physical and mental development). On top of all that, 12 people died from a Legionnaires' disease outbreak associated with the contaminated water. Flint's residents mostly consist of low-income African-American families whose concerns regarding the contaminated water have largely been ignored. The issue was finally addressed by the officials in late 2015 after overwhelming evidence that the city had essentially poisoned its residents.


Now, after years of government action and lawsuits on both the state and federal level, Michigan officials have declared that the emergency has ended and Flint's water is safe to drink. This was announced by Governor Snyder in April 2018. However, according to NPR, Flint's mayor, Karen Weaver, believes that the city's water won't be safe until all the lead pipes are replaced. He has been supported by Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who was one of the first doctors to find high levels of lead in Flint kids' bloodstreams. In response to Snyder's decision to end the state's free water program in April of 2018, Hanna-Attisha tweeted: This is wrong. Until all lead pipes are replaced, state should make available bottled water and filters to Flint residents.


In August 2018, the NRDC and its partners went back to court to challenge Flint's ongoing response to the water crisis. They went to court seeking an explanation on the data-collecting methods of the government officials. Secondly, to question whether the city should have been working faster to provide Flint households with faucet filters. In response to the court-action, the city of Flint has finally agreed to change their statistical model that the NRDC argues will "improve the efficiency of the City's pipe replacement program." 

In the meantime, the city needs people like Jaden Smith to step in and help them through the crisis. The government claims to resolve the issue by 2020. There are many who believe that the crisis would have been resolved more swiftly if the demographic consisted largely of a white population instead of a black one.  








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