31-year-old Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars announced Saturday – midway through his sold-out concert at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Detroit, Michigan – that he would donate a whopping $ 1 million from the proceeds of his show in aid of the Flint water crisis victims.
The show was part of his ongoing “24K Magic World Tour,” which commenced on March 28, 2017, and is due to end on June 8, next year, at the Estadio Universitario in Monterrey, Mexico.
“I’m very thankful to the Michigan audience for joining me in supporting this cause,” said Bruno in a statement. “Ongoing challenges remain years later for Flint residents, and it’s important that we don’t forget our brothers and sisters affected by this disaster.
As people, especially as Americans, we need to stand together to make sure something like this never happens in any community ever again.”
The “Too Good to Say Goodbye” singer, along with tour promoters Live Nation, will redirect the announced funds to The Community Foundation of Greater Flint. The Foundation, among other commitments, is currently involved in addressing a host of issues affecting the area ever since lead-poisoning in the city’s water supply led to 12 deaths.
The deaths were caused by Legionnaire’s Disease which in turn was caused by exposure to the contaminated water – so it is believed. A number of government employees have, since, been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
“With a grateful heart, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint is honored to accept this inspiring donation,” the Foundation’s President and CEO Isaiah M. Oliver said in a statement.
“We know Bruno Mars’ $1 million gift will be transformative to the children and families of Flint. He understands the issues faced by Flint citizens, and we are touched by his concern and generosity,” he added.
The Flint water crisis began back in 2014 when the city’s water supply source was changed from Lake Huron and Detroit River to Flint River. Inadequate water treatment resulted in lead-poisoning of the city’s water supply creating a serious threat to public health.
The improperly treated water caused corrosion of the aging lead pipes it flowed through, reportedly, exposing 100,000 residents to the potentially fatal lead-contaminated water.
A federal state of emergency was declared in January 2016 after a couple of scientific studies established the presence of high levels of lead in the city’s water supply. Initially, the state of emergency was declared by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, soon followed by President Obama’s declaration of a Federal State of Emergency allowing additional help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
Citizens were warned of the dangers of exposure to the water and were instructed to use bottled water instead, and nothing else, for their daily drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing needs.
Although the water quality has improved since then, residents have been advised to continue using bottled or filtered water as there are still many remaining lead pipes that need to be replaced – a task that may stretch till 2020.