World Water and Earth Days’ celebrations.

World Water and Earth Days’ celebrations.

By December Ndhlovu

Why do we celebrate Earth Day?

Global Earth Day has been celebrated on the 22nd April every year for over 50 years now. It is celebrated as a conscious reminder that the Earth or Planet Earth is badly damaged and that we care about it as people that are part of its mystical existence. We celebrate Earth day to pay allegiance to Mother Nature and to promote awareness about environmental protection. We took time as Mpumalanga Water Caucus (MPWC) to celebrate both Earth Day and World Water Day

How did we celebrate our Earth Day?

On the 10th of May 2021, fourteen members of the MPWC who volunteer to clear illegal waste and river cleaning around Bushbuckridge, undertook a trip to celebrate World Water Day as well as Earth day in the wilderness. We had traditional health practitioners (THP’s) in the group who led the us through the forest extracting medicinal plants and herbs that are no longer available in the communities. They explained the essence of water beyond household use.

Members of MPWC extracting medicinal plants during Earth and World Water Day celebration in Bushbuckridge

The Earth has been badly damaged in the last twenty years to the extent that it triggered other environmental problems like Climate Change and Global Warming. Climate change and global warming has metamorphosed into deadly natural disasters and lately causing unknown and untreatable diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mother Earth needs us to help her dress the wounds and soothe the bruises that have been caused by people for so many years. We are doing that by planting medicinal plants and herbs that are already extinct from communities. We are voluntarily cleaning household waste dumped illegally along the roads and under the bridges in our respective communities. We have adopted rivers that we clean regularly in our respective communities to improve the quality of the water for ourselves and for other aquatic animals. Surely we need to do more but we believe that the little effort combined with the other global efforts, could make a difference and the Earth can be a better world to all of us without climate change, natural disasters and the pandemics.

World Water Day celebration

World water day is celebrated annually on the 22nd of March: it raises awareness of the global water problems and this years’ theme is “valuing water”. Beside what we do with water in daily basis in our lives and its commercial uses, water is a critical component of our life and we all know that our body is about 80% water, water is life to all living organisms including human beings. Traditionally water is sacred and a spiritual conduit, it’s a catalyst for spiritual connection. Water is very valuable to all life.


Water is sacred and is alive

Traditionally water can be used for many things that are only known to the people practicing it like prophets and traditional healers. The following are some of these and other indigenous uses of water:

A sangoma praying to the water before taking some with her

1.     Cleanse and purify – water is used to cleanse spiritual and emotional problems

2.     Medium of communication – water is used by THP’s and prophets for communicating with certain types of ancestors.

3.     Divination – some spiritual healers use water to divine and read people’s problems

4.     Meditate – spiritual people use water to meditate and talk to one’s ancestors (Phahla)

5.     Training centre – some THP’s and spiritual people get their training under water and they are trained by the water Gods and Water Goddesses.

6.     Sacred quarters – some water falls serve as headquarters for water ancestors (ndawe ancestors)

7.     Water for healing – prophets and THP’s do bless or pray for water and the water can heal.

Concluding comments

We are bound to save the environment from further degradation and destruction because the wellbeing of the environment directly affects human beings. The more the environment is destroyed, the more problems human beings endure. Let’s plant more trees and reintroduce what is lost through nurseries and home gardens. We need to continue cleaning illegal waste dumping and at least adopt a river or a wetland where we stay to help ease the burden that is placed on Mother Earth. Let’s revive our springs and wells as well as harvesting rainwater for water security. Let’s continue developing home fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs for food and health security. Let’s save this planet for the future generations





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