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Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba: "It's Not A Matter Of If These Systems Will Fail Again, It's A Matter Of When"

Jackson, Mississippi's boil water notice was lifted Thursday, but the city's water problems run deeper than that, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba tells ESSENCE.

After nearly seven weeks of urgent water treatment issues in Jackson, Mississippi, the city’s boil water notice was lifted on Thursday.

An online statement from the city government notes that, along with lifting the notice, water “pressure should be stable throughout the city.”

A city website also acknowledges the support and attention its crisis brought outside of the capital city. “We are hopeful the recent state and federal attention to this issue will result in the resources our residents should expect and certainly deserve,” the website reads.

ESSENCE spoke with Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Lumumba before the announcement was made for an update on the city’s water treatment system. While temporary measures have been in place to address the periodic low water pressure and water treatment failures, Lumumba made it clear that a permanent fix requires significant investment in the majority-Black city.

“We’ve been here before where we’ve had pressure go down, that we’ve had boil water notices,” Lumumba said. “And we’ve been here before where we’ve restored the pressure and ended boil water notices. But unless there is a significant capital improvement, a significant investment to ensure that we have a safe, reliable, and dependable system, then it’s not a matter of if these systems will fail again, but a matter of when they will fail again, and that is my greatest concern.”

Watch more of the interview in the video above.