Mississippi capital with 80% black, poverty rife population struggles without drinkable water
Soldiers in fatigues have been called in to assist as a crisis that has become more severe has left many inhabitants of Mississippi's capital city without clean water. They are using forklifts and diggers to unload massive pallets of bottled water for distribution to those who are most in need.
Water shortages have been an ongoing problem in Jackson, where 80 percent of residents are Black and poverty is pervasive. However, this one is exceptionally bad, leaving many locals without access to clean, flowing water for almost a week.
A crucial but outdated water treatment plant's operations were hampered for days by significant flooding.
Due to the low pressure, brown water—which is unfit for consumption even after boiling—occasionally sputters out when inhabitants turn on the faucet.
"At my home the water is running very slowly. It's a horrible situation in the entire city", the 55-year-old Jackson resident Mary Jones said.
The federal government has pledged resources to assist Mississippi in resolving the situation.
Major repairs are being made, but for the time being, people must rely on bottled water that is delivered heaped tall on pallets.
Every resident who visits a distribution site is entitled to two cases.
Many linked it to the water crisis that occurred in Flint, Michigan between 2014 and 2016. Because of poor management and negligence, the city's water supply was dangerously poisoned with lead.
The largest city in Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the union, is Jackson. The tax base decreased for years as more wealthy white citizens relocated to the suburbs, contributing to the city's struggling finances. A quarter of Jackson's population now lives in poverty.
One resident, who asked that her name not be used gave a description of her typical day.