A cardinal has spoken out against corporations and governments that fail to prioritise clean water.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the remarks in Stockholm yesterday, when present at an interfaith gathering as part of World Water Week.
In a keynote address, he said: “It is a continuing shame that people’s needs are secondary to industries which take too much and pollute what remains,” and adding, “governments pursue other priorities and ignore their parched cries.”
With speakers representing the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist communities, the meeting considered how faith-based organisations could contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on global water issues.
Cardinal Turkson drew attention to how faith-based organisations can help youth embrace the values of “solidarity, altruism and responsibility”, and that they needed to become “honest administrators and politicians.”
Religious leaders could help organise “inter-religious campaigns for cleaning rivers or lakes in order to foster mutual respect, peace and friendship among different groups,” as well as promote “a wise hierarchy of priorities for the use of water,” he said.
Some 660 million people are without adequate drinking water, and every year millions, mostly children, die from diseases linked to poor water supply and sanitation, according to the United Nations.