In 2014, under the guise of saving the city money Flint Michigan’s Emergency Manager Darnell Early made the decision to switch from the safe, clean drinking water provided by the Detroit Water & Sewage Department to the polluted and extremely corrosive Flint River. Within weeks the entire city would be exposed to fecal matter, e. coli, cancer causing chemicals and eventually lead.
As the community spoke out against the states corrupt Emergency Manager Law that stripped the power from the people and the brown, foul smelling toxic water coming from their faucets, a few powerful women and men stood out. While Nayyirah Shariff took to the streets with many of her fellow “Flintstones” demanding action and transparency, LeeAnne Walters took to science to prove the water was unsafe. Her work with EPA Regulations Manager Miguel Del Toral and VA Tech. Scientist Marc Edwards blew the lid off a massive cover-up exposing the #FlintWaterCrisis to the entire world!
As many city and state officials, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the EPA aggressively tried to discredit the whistle-blowers, many concerned community members like Pastor Robert McCathern of Joy Tabernacle Baptist Church banned together with grassroots organizations from across the nation to provide safe drinking water and other essential supplies for residents to survive.
Three years later, after many residents suffered horrific side effects from the toxic water including rashes, hair loss, hearing loss, eye strokes, liver damage and lead poisoning not to mention 10 deaths from Legionaries disease, the officials responsible for making the switch have tried to place the blame back on the community.
#BiggerThanWater uplifts the stories of some of the most dedicated and engaged Flint residents who continue to fight for the safety of their community while connecting the dots between Flint’s history and how the interests of a few greedy officials anxious to capitalize from Michigan’s emerging Blue Economy would set the stage for one of the nations most horrific man made disasters.