“Water is fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a healthy life in human dignity. It is a pre-requisite to the realization of all other human rights. ”
The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights
Please sign the following petition
Keep the water on for Baltimore’s low-income residents!
“Standing for the rights of one is standing for the rights of all.“ – Etaoqua
Water is a human right – especially in the richest country on earth!
Yet in the coming days, Baltimore will start cruelly shutting off water to 25,000 households who owe more than $250 in unpaid bills. This is despite the facts that public assistance is minimal, there have been no public hearings, and in many cases, it’s the landlord’s fault – not the tenant’s – that the bills weren’t paid.
Even worse, more than one-third of the unpaid water bills in Baltimore belong to just 369 businesses – including $7 million from RG Steel alone – but the city is starting the shutoffs with low-income residents who need water to survive!
Please Read More and Sign the Petition:
It seems as though it is the same worldwide, the poorest suffer as a result of the social injustice of a low income while the better off get away with not paying their bills which as the petition says amounts to one-third of all unpaid water bills.
Brewing Human Rights Crisis In Baltimore As City Threatens Mass Water Shutoffs
“In what residents warn is a mounting human rights crisis, the city of Baltimore has commenced sending 25,000 notices, the vast majority to city and county residents, threatening to shut off water if delinquent bills are not paid within ten days.
The organization Food & Water Watch estimates that 75,000 residents are under immediate threat of having their taps turned off, in a city beset with rising water rates and housing costs, where nearly one out of four people live below the federal poverty line.”
“Only 369 of the 25,000 accounts receiving shut off notices are businesses, but they comprise $15 million of the $40 million the city says is owed in unpaid bills.”
Such denial of water a basic human right and vital for survival is becoming more frequent, remember Detroit.
Where it looks as though the struggle for this basic life sustaining resource continues.
Water shutoff warnings on way for delinquent Detroiters
“The Detroit water department is prepared to hang about 800 shutoff notices a day on doors across the city, “
“…water bills are the rise this year. Detroiters can expect to pay 3.4% more for water under the proposed new rates that would take effect July 1. But their biggest increase will come on the sewer portion of their bill, where the new rates rise 16.7% under the proposal.”
First Detroit, Now Baltimore Is Shutting Off Water To The Poor
“I’m having a rather hard time understanding why it is that the City of Baltimore has apparently made the decision to follow in the footsteps of my adopted hometown Detroit and is shutting off the water in poor peoples’ homes for falling behind on their bills while allowing the larger – and significantly wealthier – corporations and businesses to slide on by. Even though they are the ones most responsible for the related deficit that the city currently finds itself in.”
It’s hard to imagine the suffering and misery being without water causes, we take water so for granted don’t we until it is not there anymore. It is more than just having enough to drink. How can you prepare food, bathe, launder your clothes, flush your toilet, clean your home without water. How the hell can you function at all in a modern society to go to work, attend school?
It an outrage of injustice when people throughout the world most notably developing countries do not have access to clean water. However to deliberately cut off water supplies were it is readily available is just appalling. To use the word crime to describe such an action would not be inappropriate.
I don’t give a damn who supplies the water or how much it cost to do so, water is a vital resource and should not be dependent on whether or not you have the necessary finances. Whether it is Africa, the USA or anywhere else clean water should be provided freely to every man, woman and child, not made into a commodity only available to those who can afford it. Forcing poor people to go without water simply because they do not have the means to pay for it while allowing business who owe one-third of unpaid bills to get away with doing so is not the hall-mark of a just society.
As a matter of interest here in the UK if you are a domestic (non-business) customer, water companies can’t, by law, disconnect or restrict your water supply if you owe them money.
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/consumer_w/consumer_water_supply_e/consumer_problems_with_paying_your_water_bill_e/if_you_dont_pay_your_water_bill.htm – but who knows things can change.