SHAFAQNA – A Muslim philanthropic organisation Who is Hussain? has donated 30,000 bottles of water to help bail out the desperate residents of Flint, Michigan, as the city’s contamination crisis wears on.
The donation comes after President Barack Obama declared a federal state of emergency in the city and released $U5 million ($A7.2 million) in funding to assist those affected by lead pollution from contaminated water supplies.
Group representative, Doctor Aziza Askari, told the Washington Times that Who is Hussain? volunteers were reaching out to “anyone and everyone” within their local community, encouraging those capable of donating water or money to pass them on to the Flint Red Cross.
Volunteers say the act of charity was inspired by the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.
“[He] taught us ‘Your neighbour comes before your own household,’” volunteer and local filmmaker Mr Mohammed Almawla said.
“[Thus] I feel obligated to help to the best of my ability.”
Who is Hussain? was founded in memory of early Islamic leader, Imam Husain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
The contamination is believed to have been sparked by unelected emergency manager Darnell Earley’s decision to switch the Flint river water supply from Detroit to the polluted Flint River in April 2014.
The water was later found to contain lead, and as a result thousands of Flint residents have since been exposed to the toxic chemical, many of whom are children.
It is feared some may suffer permanent brain damage and behavioural problems as a result.
Many critics have laid blame at the door of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, accusing the organisation of ignoring months of reports of water quality issues as well as failing to cooperate with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over water quality treatments.
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