Water crisis in U.S. city raises concerns about environmental racism: report

(Xinhua) 09:20, September 07, 2022

NEW YORK, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- As tens of thousands of residents of Jackson in the U.S. state of Mississippi remain without clean water, some advocates say the situation stems from years of environmental racism, reported The Hill on Saturday.

More than 80 percent of Jackson residents are Black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. On Aug. 29, those residents saw their main water treatment facility fail in the wake of flooding, leaving them without clean water for drinking, bathing or cooking.

The latest water issues come after the last two years saw the city's water system fail an Environmental Protection Agency inspection, which found the drinking water had the potential to host harmful bacteria or parasites, and the bursting and freezing of pipes during a winter storm last year left residents without water for nearly a month.

But advocates say the crisis has been decades in the making. Jackson first became a majority-Black city in the years following integration. The white population fell from 52 percent to 43 percent through the 1980s, with another 35,000 leaving the city over the course of the 1990s, according to the Jackson Free Press.

The Jackson crisis is part of "the conversations about how Black communities are deprioritized when it comes to ensuring that there's infrastructure planning, ensuring there is resiliency built within the communities," said Abre' Conner, director of environmental and climate justice at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


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