Meanwhile, in Rural Alabama…
Since Alabama is in the news, let’s shift our attention to the following from AL.com: UN poverty official touring Alabama’s Black Belt: ‘I haven’t seen this’ in the First World.
A United Nations official who tours the globe investigating extreme poverty said Thursday that areas of Alabama’s Black Belt are suffering the most dire sewage disposal crisis of any place he has visited in a developed country.
“I think it’s very uncommon in the First World. This is not a sight that one normally sees. I’d have to say that I haven’t seen this,” Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said as he toured a Butler County community where raw sewage flows from homes through exposed PVC pipes and into open trenches and pits.
Alston was in Alabama on Thursday to bear personal witness to the poverty, lack of access to basic services and civil rights struggles that have plagued poor, mostly African-American residents of the state’s Black Belt region for generations.
On Thursday, Alston visited communities in the Black Belt’s Butler and Lowndes counties, where residents often fall ill with ailments like E. Coli and hookworm – a disease of extreme poverty long eradicated in most parts of the U.S. – in part because they do not have consistently reliable access to clean drinking water that has not been tainted by raw sewage and other contaminants.
The entire piece is worth a read (and a skimming of the comments will suggest why the problem is unlikely to be fixed).