JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson’s water crisis remains a key issue for those living in the city.
“People are being stripped of their dignity, stripped of their quality of life that they certainly deserve,” said Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
Lumumba and Environmental Protection Agency Interim Third-Party Manager Ted Henifin addressed the community during a Town Hall on Friday.
“It’s an issue where decades and generations of deferred maintenace have led to the vulnerability in our system.”
Both Lumumba and Henifin say a large part of Jackson’s water problems are due to inexperience and neglect from all levels of government.
“In spite of the fact that administration after administration has cried out for support, indicating that it’s a matter of if these systems will fail, but when these systems will fail, they have still simply not been met.”
“My profession isn’t practicing what the public should be practicing. So, it’s failure of government, failure of engineering professionals, and we’re just doomed if this continues,” said Henifin.
Henifin says locating and repairing leaks in the system remains the biggest obstacle, but says his team is making progress.
“A huge impact in the last six weeks in making sure there’s always water pressure in South Jackson and through the rest of the city. At this point, just through finding closed valves in the system.”
Lumumba also addressed federal grant money awarded to the city to repair the water system. He says decisions on how to allocate the money are still being made.