Porterville, USA: where the faucets run dry.
As the crisis grows as more and more families are running out of water. More people have to improvise solutions for themselves; some seek assistance from those who still have access to ground water, such as hooking a neighbour’s garden hose to their house. Others haul water home in giant barrels or gray plastic garbage cans. Farm workers and other poor inhabitants are feeling the effects most severely.
City officials placed water containers in approximately 1,200 homes, but that’s only half of the family units that don’t have water. There are rising worries the drought could wipe this entire town off the map.
Across California, there are many areas like East Porterville – a poor, dense and unincorporated community on county territory with lack of basic public services. There is no provision of septic systems, clean drinking water, sidewalks, streetlights or rainstorm drains.
This is a community that has been the victim of years of government neglect: Language barriers, legal status’ and a lack of political know-how make it difficult for residents to navigate the governmental process to gain access to the fundamental public utilities.
“You’re looking at very small communities that are impoverished, and in many cases, (residents are) undocumented, and that puts them at a severe disadvantage. There are very few people who want to take on these communities as a priority for a variety of reasons.” Assemblyman Henry T. Perea.
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