Catholic Charities joins water crisis relief effort in Jackson, Mississippi

Jonah McKeown   By Jonah McKeown for CNA


Dontavious Spann helps hand out cases of bottled water at a Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition distribution site on Aug. 31, 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi. / Brad Vest/Getty Images

St. Louis, Mo., Sep 1, 2022 / 12:47 pm (CNA).

Amid a water crisis affecting the city of Jackson, Mississippi’s capital, the local Catholic Charities organization is distributing bottled water.

Catholic Charities of Jackson distributed water bottles Thursday and will do so again Friday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. CT on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 from its headquarters at 850 E. River Place, Jackson, MS, 39202.

“Currently, the Catholic Charities Disaster Response team is assisting displaced families as a result of Pearl River flooding and coordinating with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MSEMA) to become a distribution site for water,” the organization told CNA Wednesday.

Jackson’s water supply was severely disrupted last week when flooding on the Pearl River, which runs through the city, damaged the pumps at a major water treatment plant. Sept. 1 marked the fourth day with little or no running water for the 180,000-resident city. The city had been under a boil order for more than a month prior because of water quality concerns.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz of the Diocese of Jackson urged prayers for a speedy resolution to the water crisis.

“We are pleased that President Biden, Governor Tate Reeves and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba are working together to address the water situation in Jackson,” Kopacz said in a statement to CNA.

“We pray for long-term solutions to this problem, and a swift response to get water flowing back into all Jackson homes and businesses.”

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is optimistic the water can be restored to residents this week, he told CNN Wednesday. The city’s public schools and the local university have all shifted to remote learning.

President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Jackson on Wednesday.

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