A severe drought brought on by an unusually early dry season is plaguing the agriculture in many parts of Bolivia, forcing rural people to relocate to urban areas to escape starvation. Bolivian Rural Development Minister Nemesia Achacollo said the environmental and economic situation is critical as water shortages impact over 41,000 families in the departments of Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz. Potato farmers have said that their minimal harvests could only be used to make chuño, or freeze-dried potatoes.
Meanwhile, in Los Andes province’s Laja municipality, wells have run dry, leaving farmers with only the water from the Pallina River, which has been contaminated by runoff, with people now seeking treatment daily for illnesses from consuming dirty water.
We are immensely saddened to know of the plight of the Bolivian people. Our prayers for the blessing of rain as we strive to take the necessary eco-conscious measures to safeguard our precious resources and the lives that depend on them.
Expressing her ongoing concern for the welfare of Earth’s inhabitants, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke during a November 2008 interview with Ireland’s East Coast Radio FM of the climate refugees’ predicaments, as well as the need to take preventive actions.