Washington: US President Joe Biden called Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the Mayor of Jackson in Mississippi state, over the ongoing running water “crisis” in the city.
The White House said in a statement that Biden on Wednesday heard from Lumumba “about the urgent situation with access to clean and safe water” and that they discussed the emergency response efforts underway, reports Xinhua news agency.
Biden also vowed federal support to address the immediate crisis and the longer-term effort to rebuild Jackson’s water infrastructure, according to the White House.
Lumumba said on Wednesday that the city’s water crisis is due to decades of neglected maintenance.
“The city has invested tens of millions in our water treatment process and facility over the last few years, but with the decades-long damage to our system, we can’t go it alone,” he tweeted.
Late Tuesday night, Biden declared that an emergency exists in Mississippi and ordered federal assistance to supplement the state’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the water crisis.
Flooding of the Pearl River, which runs in Mississippi and Louisiana, had created problems with treating water at the O.B. Curtis water plant in Jackson, officials said.
Current pressure issues mean that Jackson and its surrounding areas which have approximately 180,000 residents are unable to produce enough water to flush toilets, fight fires, and meet other critical needs.
Jackson, whose residents are mostly African-Americans, continues to be under a boil water notice while cases of bottled water are being distributed to those in need.