UN Calls Detroit Water Shutdown Inhumane

Detroit, USA: The government's cutting off water service for the residents who weren't paying their bills sparked an outcry from welfare rights groups. They have petitioned the United Nations to step in and help the residents, arguing that access to safe drinking water is a human right. Is it? If it is, it's high time we we re-evaluated how we pay for it.

Darrryl Latimer, Deputy Director, Detroit Water and Sewage Department told the media that a number of different ways have been tried to increase the collect including shut-offs but all the efforts have been unyielding.  He also expressed that department doesn't distinguish on the basis of poverty line or anything other than the criteria that the customers have hit the delinquencies.

Out of 46,000 notices delivered to non paying customers, 4500 had their water cut off. 2700 of them came and paid their bills once their water supply was broken. 4500 an unprecedented amount to shut off in a year is being seen escalating as the year goes on.

Emily Wurth, Water Programme Director who reached out the UN on behalf of the Detroit said cutting off water supply is a hardship for people and a potential public health issue. This practice must be abandoned even if people can show up later to pay their bills.

The Detroit government says it's not likely that the paying customers will pay more because there's a segment in society that doesn't want to pay or can't pay. The state facing bankruptcy is planning to save for itself to be able to improve its financial condition. Privatization of the services is not the only option, Latimer responded to the critics.

Disappointed response came from American people, for they expect US government can provide free water as well as higher education. Majority of people in the destitute state of Detroit scrape by with barely enough to survive. So the question is :

Are basic human rights constitutional ? While there's right of freedom of speech, there's no right to water and food. Some of the constitutions have made these necessities as basic human rights. And these are what we call the core elements for  international humans rights model. UN has declared water a basic human right and condemned the shut down.


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