Black Families in Detroit Appeal for U.N. Help After City Cuts Off Water

“This is the worst violation of the human right to water I have ever seen outside of the worst slums in the poorest countries in failed states of the global South,” said Maude Barlow, founder of the Blue Planet Project.

Thousands of families in Detroit, mostly black, have had their water cut off because they can’t afford to pay water rates that are nearly double the average in the rest of the country.

In March, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced that it would shut off water service for 1,500 to 3,000 customers every week if their water bills were not paid. Clearly not understanding the root of the problem, the City Council just last week approved an 8.7-percent water rate increase.

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