Pop icon Cher has taken it upon herself to make sure the people of Flint, Michigan, have clean water after nearly everyone in the city was exposed to lead poisoning and other contaminants flowing from a new water source.
Cher has been vocal about the water crisis in Flint — which started in 2014 when the city switched water sources to save money and officials largely ignored the concerns of residents — for weeks on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
On Saturday, Cher and water company Icelandic Glacial announced that they were partnering to send 181,440 bottles of water to Flint. Cher is shouldering the cost of half of the bottles, and Icelandic matched her donation, the company said in a statement.
The water will be trucked to Michigan beginning Monday and will reach The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan by Wednesday, the statement said. The water will immediately go to community centers, food banks and fire houses focusing in on low income housing areas, the company said.
Cher, on her Twitter account Saturday, called for other celebrities to follow her lead. Since Jan. 5, she has been criticizing officials in Michigan, including Gov. Rick Snyder, for allowing people to drink "poison water."
Recent tests have shown elevated lead levels in the blood of some local children, and the state's health department has just started investigating whether an increase of Legionnaires' disease cases — seven of them fatal — could be linked to the water.
On Saturday, President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for Flint, which sends FEMA in to deliver water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, "and other necessary related items" to the city for about three months.