In Jackson, Mississippi, access to clean, safe water has been an ongoing nightmare. In a city that is nearly 85% Black, a legacy of environmental racism has left the city’s water infrastructure unfunded and woefully inadequate. Now, record flooding across the Deep South has overwhelmed Jackson’s water treatment facilities, indefinitely leaving 150,000 residents without clean water. Low-income residents are forced to spend hundreds of dollars each month to drink, cook, and bathe with safe water.
Central Florida volunteer teams working with GO Humanity (formerly Foundation Beyond Belief) have been in contact with mutual aid organizers in Jackson. While some donations of water pallets have made it to mutual aid networks, organizers lack the volunteers and pallet jacks necessary to efficiently move and distribute the water. Organizers also worry that national attention for this crisis, which is already low, will disappear entirely soon and with it much-needed future donations. Residents would also benefit from water filters to reduce their reliance on expensive bottled water.
Our GO Teams in Florida and Texas are poised to respond as part of our new disaster resiliency project that centers and supports organizers who belong to the impacted communities. GO Teams are ready to deploy to Jackson bringing water, pallet jacks, water filters, and other items not otherwise being provided by government or charities. Volunteers are also working to transport Black mutual aid organizers into Jackson to help the community.