Water is the elixir of life; without it, we die within days. It is second only to air as the reason any of us are here at all. Yet “768 million people lack access to improved water sources, and 2.5 billion have no improved sanitation,” according to the United Nations.
Many of those people inhabit Turtle Island. Young Sliammon actress and activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney, who sang so beautifully to protest Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline through British Columbia when she was just 10, here makes an eloquent plea for water in another video. Now bordering on young womanhood, the 12-year-old calls everyone to prayer at 3pm their time today, World Water Day, to create a “wave of global synchronized prayer to heal the waters.”
March 22 is World Water Day, established by the U.N. in 1993 to draw attention to the uses we make of this most life-giving of substances. Around the world the supply is threatened by pesticides, fracking chemicals, consumer-product runoff and a host of other contaminants and factors. Drought is drying up California and much of the Navajo Nation; glaciers and Arctic ice are melting, sending water where it shouldn’t go and changing the climatic balance; and oceans are filling with plastic.
“Unsafe water kills more people than war,” says Ta’Kaiya, whose name means “Special Waters,” in the video below. “Life is not possible without water. Water gives life to all of us.”
For 2014 the U.N. is highlighting water and energy, focusing attention on “the inter-linkages between water and energy,” the international body said in a fact sheet, and to show how careful water use can have beneficial societal and economic impacts.
“Throughout history, people of all races, religions and ways of life have honored their sacred connection to water,” Ta’Kaiya says. “And today this relationship is being forgotten.”
The video eloquently depicts both the threats to water and our common connection to it, kicking off a year-long initiative by Unify.org, a Web platform developed for people to share their uses of and reverence for water. It’s described as a “global synchronized water ceremony” to take place at 3:00 p.m. local time for all involved, all across the planet. More information, plus a livestream of other celebrations, is at Unify.org’s website.
“We are protected by water in our mother’s womb,” Ta’Kaiya says in her video, which is featured both on Unify.org and on her website and blog, Ta'Kaiya Blaney. “Now it is our turn to protect and love the water of our Mother Earth.”