President Obama has declared a federal state of emergency for the city of Flint, Michigan due to high levels of lead contamination in the drinking water, and American pop icon Cher is contributing to the cause by sending 180,000 liters (47,550 gallons) of Icelandic water to the people of Flint.
This disaster began back in April 2014, when, in an attempt to cut costs, the city switched from sourcing its water from Detroit to getting it from the Flint River. According to the Washington Post, the water contained such large amounts of lead as to be classified toxic waste. Citizens complained of the strange taste, smell, and color of the water and doctor’s visits went up, with people reporting rashes and headaches. However, the problem was not acknowledged by the city government until October 2015, and not deemed an emergency situation until this month.
Cher made a statement about the emergency and expressed her intentions to help: “This is a tragedy of staggering proportion and shocking that it’s happening in the middle of our country…I am so grateful that Icelandic Glacial has come on-board to help the city of Flint. I cannot wait for the water to get there to help these people who have been poisoned because the water they’ve been getting out of their taps has been polluted for so long and remains that way without the state or federal government stepping in with any substantial plan to resolve this problem.”
Icelandic Glacial made a deal to double Cher’s purchase of bottled water for the citizens of Flint. The shipment was sent out yesterday, Monday. The water for Icelandic Glacial is derived from a spring in Ölfus in South Iceland and is distributed both locally and abroad. US Weekly reports that the empty bottles from Flint will be recycled and the proceeds put towards funding food banks.