Water and Spirituality

“Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life.” – Pope FrancisFollowing renewed involvement by religious leaders on water issues, this year’s World Water Forum will hold a special event dedicated to Water and Spirituality on World Water Day. President of Green Cross Netherlands and co-founder of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA),Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, will bring GIWA’s message of the sanctity of water to the forum.

Promoting Human Dignity and Religious Leaders’ Responsibility

GIWA is a world-first initiative engaging the planet’s many faiths as allies in efforts to bring access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and proper hygiene to every human being. Launched by UNICEF at the UNICEF World Headquarters under sponsorship of the Government of the Netherlands and USAID, GIWA envisions a water-secure world in which safe and sustainable drinking water and improved sanitation will be accessible for all.Since the dawn of history, faith has provided a foundation for social norms. An estimated five billion people across the world are members of religious communities, underscoring the critical role religious leaders can play in addressing seemingly intractable problems. People look to faith leaders in times of joy and sorrow, as well as in their search for inner meaning. As teachers and guides, faith leader’s words and actions motivate, persuade and enable. They are able to influence change in ways others simply, cannot.Spiritual Leaders link water to life and clean water benefits to human dignity and welfare. SDG 6 aims to ensure access to water and sanitation for all by 2030. Therefore they call from their wish the realization of SDG 6 and all of its targets.

Click for more information on GIWA’s work in India

Find out more about the thoughts of various religious leaders on water

Also see Pope Francis address the Vatican conference on human right to water