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USA: Obama promises Flint that govt. has their 'back' over water crisis01:06

USA: Obama promises Flint that govt. has their 'back' over water crisis

United States, Detroit
January 21, 2016 at 04:59 GMT +00:00 · Published

US President Barack Obama pledged his support to the people of Flint on Wednesday after criticism over the government's handling of the current water crisis, following the discovery of high levels of lead in the city's supplies. Speaking to autoworkers in Detroit, the president said that "the crisis is a reminder, of why you can't short change basic services that we provide to our people."

"Over the weekend I declared a federal emergency in Flint," said the president. He then added that he intends to "send more resources on top of the assistance that we have already put on the ground" in order to deal with the ongoing issue.

Protests have taken place in Flint in the past week directed at Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who residents believe has not responded sufficiently to the emergency situation.

Flint's water crisis began after local authorities switched the source of water for the city from a Detroit-run water system to the River Flint in April 2014. At the time Flint's local authorities were under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager who made the switch to save money. The water in the River Flint was more corrosive than that supplied from Detroit, causing lead to leach from the water pipes at a greater rate, contaminating the water with high levels of lead. Snyder has called on Obama to rate the crisis as a federal disaster, saying the lead exposure, which can lead to learning disabilities and severe behavioural problems in children, poses both an "imminent and long-term threat."

USA: Obama promises Flint that govt. has their 'back' over water crisis01:06
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US President Barack Obama pledged his support to the people of Flint on Wednesday after criticism over the government's handling of the current water crisis, following the discovery of high levels of lead in the city's supplies. Speaking to autoworkers in Detroit, the president said that "the crisis is a reminder, of why you can't short change basic services that we provide to our people."

"Over the weekend I declared a federal emergency in Flint," said the president. He then added that he intends to "send more resources on top of the assistance that we have already put on the ground" in order to deal with the ongoing issue.

Protests have taken place in Flint in the past week directed at Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who residents believe has not responded sufficiently to the emergency situation.

Flint's water crisis began after local authorities switched the source of water for the city from a Detroit-run water system to the River Flint in April 2014. At the time Flint's local authorities were under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager who made the switch to save money. The water in the River Flint was more corrosive than that supplied from Detroit, causing lead to leach from the water pipes at a greater rate, contaminating the water with high levels of lead. Snyder has called on Obama to rate the crisis as a federal disaster, saying the lead exposure, which can lead to learning disabilities and severe behavioural problems in children, poses both an "imminent and long-term threat."

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