How to help with the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi

The failure of Jackson, Mississippi’s main water treatment plant has left nearly 180,000 residents in and around the city with little or no drinking water. Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Tuesday, saying the city lacked enough water to meet basic needs like flushing toilets, putting out fires and more.

The problem is not new; The city has been dealing with a water crisis for decades, though the city most recently came under inspection in 2016, when officials first found elevated levels of lead in a random sample of homes. In 2021, residents were under a boil water alert for 225 days, and this year residents have been under the same advisory since the end of July.

But the matter has escalated. “This is a very different situation than a boil water advisory, which is also a serious situation,” Governor Reeves said. in a sentence Tuesday. “Until that is fixed, it means we don’t have reliable piped water at scale.”

President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Mississippi Tuesday night and sent federal assistance to the state.

Here’s how to help residents of Jackson, Mississippi in the midst of the health crisis:

Where to donate money?

The Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition, made up of more than 30 organizations in the state, is taking online donations with a goal of raising at least $2 million. Donations will be used to purchase: water, reusable water containers, filters and to transport these items to those in need.

Other local organizations, such as Operation Good, are accepting donations through Cashapp under the tag ($Operationgoodms). The Mississippi Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity also accepts monetary contributions via Venmo (@IAJEofMS), Cashapp ($IAJEofMS), and Paypal (@IAJEofMS), which will be used to supply water.

Mississippi Food Network is accepting donations online, as is the mutual aid group Jackson Cooperation and New Horizon Ministries, which already regularly distributes food and water to the community.

Local students in the area have also created the MS Student Water Crisis Advocacy Team, which aims to deliver water to people who are not physically able to obtain it for themselves due to age or disability. They are accepting donations under ($JxnWaterCrisis22) on Cashapp.

The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, which provides financial assistance and support to those seeking abortions, also accepts contributions here for water distribution.

Where to donate water and supplies?

If you are in the area and prefer to donate water and supplies, most coalitions ask that you contact them to share the best drop-off location and time.

  • The Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition: Email rapidre[email protected] to arrange pickup/drop off.
  • Operation Good: Call (601) 874-4521 to schedule pickup/delivery. If you are out of the immediate area, you can ship products to 2827 Oak Forest Dr., Jackson, MS, 39204, but the organizers ask that you contact them in advance.
  • New Horizon International Church: Call (601) 371-1427 to coordinate donations
  • Cooperating Jackson: Email [email protected] or call (601) 355-7224

What else can you do to help?

The city of Jackson, Mississippi is asking for volunteers to help distribute bottled water every day. To volunteer, email [email protected].

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