Hello, again Beloved Community! I hope all is well with you. Lately, there has been a lot going on with me, as you may have seen from the previous blog I am recovering from Covid-19, and that got me thinking about my experience with the water shutoffs, and what its lasting damage has to do with my recent battle with Covid-19. Yes, I had Covid and it is something that I’ve been deathly afraid of since the onset, more so than most, due to being diagnosed as having compromised lungs. Now, what does this have to do with water shutoffs? you may ask, Well back in 2014 when the city of Detroit was at the height of its shutoff campaign, I had to deal with trying to survive not one, but two shutoffs, during this time and the last one, was the worse, between cleaning with undiluted cleaning products and the lack of running water, I developed all the symptoms of an infectious respiratory ailment.
After standing and giving testimony against the shutoffs in front of United Nations Special Rapporteurs, I had chills; delirium; and a high fever, upon seeking medical attention I was thought to have Ebola or Enterovirus, but found out it was bacterial pneumonia. The damage caused to my lungs was a direct result of having no water in my home, coupled with cleaning with strong undiluted cleaning products, avoiding water waste as much as possible, and DWSD showed no empathy at all.
I also did health surveys and discovered the numerous other issues that are the aftereffects of surviving a water shutoff, such as, dehydration issues; hypertension(high blood pressure); mental health issues; skin rashes; kidney stones; and the list goes on. I say all of this to bring awareness to the long-term and often permanent health implications caused by water shutoffs and hope this will prompt you all to learn about Proposal P and water affordability Arm yourself with the tools to fight for your community. Contact us at http://www.peopleswaterboard.org, our FaceBook page; Twitter, or Instagram. THE PEOPLE’S WATER BOARD COALITION TURN THE WATER ON, KEEP THE WATER ON! WE NEED WATER AFFORDABILITY! with your thoughts and ideas, and subscribe to this blog. Until next time, keep your head above water!
Nicole Hill is a directly impacted resident of Detroit, a member of the People’s Water Board and Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, and a Tri-chair for the Poor People’s Campaign. She is a mother of 7 and is devoted to combating poverty on all levels through her water affordability and social change work.