The same morning, Jackson’s mayor, Chokwe Lumumba, held a press conference to discuss plans to drastically overhaul the city’s crumbling water infrastructure. In November last year the entire system was taken under federal government oversight after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found the city in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The move followed a hellish summer in Jackson, after heavy flooding and power outages resulted in severe water shortages for weeks.
After years of chronic underfunding by the Republican-led state government, the US Congress apportioned $600m to pay for the redevelopment as part of the government spending package signed in December.
Anita Carter boils bottles of drinking water as her grandchildren look on. Carter has to use countless bottles to prepare dinner for her daughter’s eight children and to wash the dishes. Photograph: Rory Doyle/The Guardian
Four Republicans from Mississippi’s congressional delegation, Representatives Michael Guest, Trent Kelly and Steven Palazzo and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, voted against the bill.
None responded to repeated requests for comment from the Guardian.