The city's 100,000 occupants haven't had safe water to drink since 2014
The American singer and actress Cher has reportedly donated 180,000 bottles of water to the city of Flint, Michigan, as they struggle to cope with a drinking water crisis.
The city, which has a population of over 100,000, hasn’t been able to provide clean drinking water to its residents since 2014, when local officials were forced to start drawing from the Flint River in order to try and keep costs down. However, the government didn’t treat the corrosive water properly and the metal started to leach from the old pipes.
“This is a tragedy of staggering proportion and shocking that it’s happening in the middle of our country,” said Cher in a statement released to The Associated Press yesterday (January 16).
Residents have complained of vomiting fits, rashes and hair loss as a result of the foul-smelling water.
The crisis has led to President Barack Obama signing an emergency declaration for federal funds to be allocated to relieving the situation.
The Oscar-winning singer initially only planned to donate around half of what is being given to Flint, but she reached out to friend Brad Horwitz who pledged to help. The businessman and investor in water company Icelandic Glacial contacted company executives and arranged for them to double Cher’s donation to 181,440 – around 1.8 bottles per citizen.
Cher was recently mistaken for the wife of U2 frontman Bono by ex-US president George Bush. The revelation emerged from HBO and Vice‘s new documentary ‘Countdown To Zero’, which focuses on Bono’s work for AIDS charities in Africa.
“You know, I’m pretty cynical when it comes to people’s intentions when they say they’re going to help other people,” said Bush. “But somebody walked in and said ‘Bono’s coming. You do know who he is?’ And then I looked at them and said ‘Sure, he’s married to Cher'”.