US RAPPER Wiz Khalifa has joined forces with music mogul P Diddy, rapper Eminem and actor Mark Wahlberg to donate over one million bottles of water to the Michigan town of Flint.
The town has been struck by a lead-poisoning crisis in the city’s water supply leaving the residents without clean drinking water.
Together with the other high-profile names, the 28-year-old rapper has made a “long-term commitment until the water issue is resolved”.
The news came via a statement from P Diddy’s media platform REVOLT, which read:
“AQUAhydrate investors Mark Wahlberg and REVOLT chairman, Sean “Diddy” Combs, are teaming with Eminem and Wiz Khalifa to donate one million bottles of AQUAhydrate to the people of Flint.
“The initial donation of five thousand cases is making it’s way across the country and is expected to arrive early next week.”
The announcement comes after the National Guard was deployed in the city to deliver bottled water door-to-door and US president Barack Obama signed a state of emergency declaration,
In a cost-cutting effort, the city switched its water supply source from Lake Huron (treated by the Detroit Water and sewage Department) to Flint River water, a contaminated source that initiated the scandal.
The move has left thousands of households without safe drinking water.
In a case similar to the plot of Hollywood blockbuster Erin Brockovich, residents in a Michigan town say they had complained that the water from the Flint River looked, smelled and tasted funny and warned it was making them sick, with many developing skin rashes.
However, the state and governor Rick Snyder did not respond to their cries and instead the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality gave false assurances that the water was safe and denied there were high levels of lead.
Ten people have also died from the pneumonia-like condition Legionnaire’s disease.
While exposed children are at risk for a number of problems, including lower IQ scores, developmental delays, and behavioural issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Even after lead exposure stops, the effects can last for years or even be permanent.
When tested by a team from Virginia Tech, the water was so contaminated with lead that the US Environmental Protection Agency branded it “toxic waste”.
P Diddy has been active in bringing more awareness to the water crisis.
Taking to Instagram last week, the Bad Boy Records mogul reposted a video calling the water calamity a form of intentional “genocide” against residents in the predominately Black area.
“I don’t know if these facts are true but we need to #WAKEUP AND #WAKETHEF***KUP INCLUDING MYSELF!,” he wrote.
“Let’s LOOK INTO THIS!!! I will share any information I get you do the same!!!!”
Other celebrities who have already donated include Big Sean and Cher.