April 15, 2010

Drought strikes across global continents



In Latin America, Bolivian authorities in seven municipalities have declared states of emergency due to dry conditions damaging 80% of crops. Municipalities like Lagunillas that rarely ever experienced droughts in the past now have lost all their crops.

Honduras also declared a state of emergency on March 23 due to drought and famine, and across the world the Philippines has also witnessed crop failure from drought that impacted 23 provinces.

In China, prolonged lack of rain has stricken at least five the southwestern provinces, with the nation’s State Forestry Administration reporting that the persistent drought has damaged young saplings and animal habitats, as well as increasing the risk of forest fires.

To help counter these effects, the Chinese government allocated US$586 million for emergency relief to supply water to over 19 million affected people.

Meanwhile, in South Sudan, drought and conflict has caused sudden alarming increased rates of malnutrition.

Aid agencies warn of a food shortage crisis, where nearly half of the children under five are malnourished.

Finally, in the United States, California’s director of the Department of Water Resources, Mark Cowin expressed concern of this year’s expected water shortages.

However, in a brief respite from such conditions, California welcomed the blessing of rains over the Easter weekend in early April that have helped replenish some main water reservoirs.

And in central Âu Lạc (Vietnam), several months of hot dry weather have been relieved by a rain that has provided much-needed moisture for thousands of hectares of coffee and other crops.

We thank all the governments for their efforts to relieve the suffering from these acute drought conditions as we pray that the dry spells being endured by many countries is alleviated with our better care for the planet and each other.

In an October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai once again expressed her deep concern and sympathy for the drought-afflicted, urging for actions to curb its impact.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: People are dying from droughts, people are leaving their villages, their hometowns because they don’t have any more water to drink.

Some die on the road because of starvation; some die on the road looking for water. This is very, very tragic. I hope we all wake up and wake up quick to save our people, to save our home.

Because many of our world co-citizens are not aware that many of our other co-citizens are dying because of lack of water, and lack of water means lack of food, lack of security.

Water means everything to our existence. We must conserve the water; we must do everything we can. And the first step to begin is to be vegan. Because animal industry uses 70 more percent of the clean water of our planet!

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