An Open Letter to the United Nations.

There are an estimated 151,000 residents in Michigan without access to clean water, with little concern from local and state government. The United Nations was contacted in 2014 after an announcement that 46,000 residents in Detroit were going to have their water shutoff because of overdue bills. The United Nations was contacted again this year because the water supply in Flint has been poisoned. When will help arrive???

“We can stubbornly ignore the truth if we choose, but it is infinitely more difficult to ignore the pain & suffering that comes from ignoring the truth.” -Agyei Tyehimba

During the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Conference this week, comments made by Governor Snyder have left me feeling more concerned than ever. Not only was the Flint water crisis minimized but, like a true sociopath, Governor Snyder showed little regard as he complained that media interviews were so negative “it was like talking to Eeyore.” The rest of the conference was a disgusting attempt to sell the world an unrealistic, upbeat picture of Detroit that doesn’t exist outside of the real estate owned by Dan Gilbert and Mike Ilitch.

In reality, the struggle is getting worse as the bottled-water well is starting to run dry for Flint residents and as 40% of Detroit’s population is having their water shut off.

When safe drinking water is discussed as a human right by the United Nations, shouldn’t that right extend to the developed world as well?

During a class offered by the World Bank -Financing for Development, I learned that the international community is working to leverage “Billions to Trillions” from official development assistance in order to pay for the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal #6 is dedicated to clean water and sanitation. President Obama has stated that the United States, which remains the single largest donor of development assistance, is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. But where is the help for Flint and Detroit???

My children and I have donated water on several occasions. It’s difficult trying to explain to them how this happened. Politicians haven’t given us any clear answers to simple, common-sense questions and have even possibly deleted important evidence. Still, we felt compelled to do something -anything- to help our neighbors.

We brought a reporter from AJ+ who recorded a short video. We hoped that getting the word out to as many people as possible would help remedy the situation faster.

It’s months later and NOTHING has improved. I am disgusted that this has been allowed to continue for so long. The entire view my children have formed of the United States Government is based on what they have seen. Is there really NO organization willing to help give these people access to clean water? We should all be ashamed.


“ The mayor of Flint, Michigan, reacted to a federal lawsuit which claims donors were directed away from a charity for victims of the city’s water crisis and toward a fund sharing a name with her campaign fund Wednesday.”

“State health officials have increased the number of deaths associated with an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area to 12, up from 10.

There were 91 confirmed cases of the disease — a severe type of pneumonia — during a 17-month period in 2014 and 2015.”