Water Cut off to Thousands of People in Detroit

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”
W.H. Auden

“Creating a world that is truly fit for children does not imply simply the absence of war. It means having the confidence that our children would not die of measles or malaria. It means having access to clean water and proper sanitation. It means having primary schools nearby that educate children, free of charge. It means changing the world with children, ensuring their right to participate, and that their views are heard and considered. It means building a world fit for children, where every child can grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity.”
Carol Bellamy


Though I had heard about the situation in Detroit regarding threats to cut off the water supply of poor people who cannot pay their bill, when I saw the petition below in my e-mail box this morning I immediately thought of Africa rather than the most affluent country in the world. Sadly although a country may be rich doesn’t mean its citizens are and rather like here in the UK it seems that increasingly more and more people in the USA are sinking into poverty.

However no matter how poor, no one should be deprived of water under any circumstance whatsoever. It is just so shocking that a country like the USA would cut off water to its citizens. Water is a vital resource and no one has the right to deny it to others simply because they cannot pay their water bill. I cannot tell you how utterly appalled I am, I just don’t have the words. It is bad enough when people do not have access to water in Africa, but when water is readily available and has been deliberately withheld it is nothing other than criminal, inhumane and a violation of human rights and the standards of plain decency. The water should be immediately restored. How the hell can those responsible sleep at night knowing the misery they cause.

Water of course is vital in many ways other than hydration. Water is required for so many aspects of our lives and is often taken for granted until it no longer flows from our taps. Maintaining bodily hygiene, cleaning our cloths and our homes and preparing our food all depend on water. Think about it you can’t even flush your toilet! You can’t clean your teeth properly without water. Not only will this effect health and psychological well-being but also people’s jobs and children’s education will be effected. Another concern  is the reports that the city is removing children from homes without water, separating families against their will.

Most of these unfortunate people cannot pay their bills as a result of rising prices, the current economic situation, low wages, unemployment, dependency on benefits as a result of ill-health or disability. I doubt very much if anyone has simply refused to pay. Shocking, just shocking, shame on  Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Clean water is a basic humane right no matter where in the world you happen to live. Whether it is Africa or the USA no one should be denied water because they are poor.

While for householders it takes as little as a $150 unpaid bill to be eligible for having your water cut off, businesses it seems are getting away with unpaid bills amounting to thousands of dollars.

Detroit Average water bill is now $65 a month — much higher than the nation’s average rate of about $40.  Here in the UK my monthly water bill for unmetered water, which means there is no limit on the amount of water we can use, is £24  which is $40 per month.

Please sign the petition:

Read More about this situation:
Detroit Shuts Off Water To Thousands Of Broke Residents

Since writing this article the Detroit water department has announced

 “that it is putting a moratorium on turning off anymore households’ water for the next 15 days. The city says the pause is meant to give residents a chance to catch up on their bills, although the payment plans being offered may still be too high for many of the nearly half the city that is currently behind. The average bill in Detroit is $540, and it would take a payment of about $175 to stop the city from turning the water off in those homes. “




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