JACKSON, Mississippi – Houston’s own, rapper, activist, and humanitarian Trae Tha Truth doesn’t just spring into action when those in his city are in need. Supporters who follow him know if there’s a humanitarian issue going on, he and his crew are working up a plan to help.
For the past three months, residents in Jackson, Mississippi have been placed under a boiled water notice, and, as Trae shared with KRPC 2′s Moriah Ballard, this is a longstanding crisis that extends back decades.
“[They’re] definitely grateful because, you know, just the fact of knowing somebody can be out there that even take the time to understand their situation. Something that I found out that a lot of us didn’t know is this has been going on since the 80s and 90s out there. So, you know, we think it has been happening for two weeks not knowing it’s been almost two decades that they have had pure water,” Trae said.
According to city officials, roughly 150,000 residents have been suffering due to the lack of usable water. Children, the elderly, and college students with no easy access to go back home are being severely impacted and forced to use bottled water for their basic needs.
On Wednesday, Jackson’s mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said fortunately, water pressure has been restored and on Thursday, the months-long boil water notice was reportedly lifted.
As Trae and his team worked through different neighborhoods in the Jackson area, he says while the residents were extremely grateful, not many government agencies were seen helping those who had been struggling.
Instead, neighbors continue to band together in an effort to provide aid to one another.
“I think it’s just people trying to help take care of people, but it’s not a situation you’re gonna be able to fix anytime soon,” he said. “You got to think, if you saying that’s been happening over two decades, there’s no way that’s gonna be fixed that quick, you know?”
Although revamping the City of Jackson’s entire water system will take years to complete, those like Trae and the members of the Relief Gang are stepping up and doing what they can to help ease the burden off those living in the area.
Trae and his team spent a few days this past week going door to door, handing out free water filters for home faucets and showers.
“Me and my team, you know, we went out there with filters,” he added. “Filters don’t necessarily make it the safest. But it puts them in a better standpoint than where they were. We went out there, we blessed hundreds of families with water filters where they can actually have kids brush their teeth and have drinkable water. We actually took, I could say, anywhere close to 50 families shopping for groceries and those supplies.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched an investigation, and the FBI was reportedly on the ground asking government officials questions on the water crisis, sources state.
A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), told news outlets that the agency had launched a “multidisciplinary review” of the crisis.