Drought jeopardizes crops and creates water scarcity in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) - 13 Aug 2010  
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Months of dry conditions through the month of July, coupled with temperatures of up to 39 degrees Celsius, have left at least 25,000 hectares of rice destroyed, with an additional 70,000 hectares damaged in the north central regions.

Record low water levels in rivers and reservoirs have also hampered irrigation efforts, and even residents living near rivers have had to walk several kilometers to fetch water or pay for it locally.

In southern Âu Lạc, saltwater intrusion into the Mekong Delta has become a serious threat to the Vị Thanh City area.

Tens of thousands of hectares of crops are in jeopardy, and the city’s 200,000 residents awoke one day to find that the tap water had become salty and unusable, with fresh water that had to be purchased at high prices for cooking and washing.

In an effort to provide relief for the shortages, Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng recently announced that 7,100 tons of rice would be allocated from national reserves to four provinces hardest hit by the drought.

We deeply appreciate the efforts of Your Excellency to alleviate the suffering of fellow citizens. Our prayers for restored bountiful harvests throughout Âu Lạc and the world as we step quickly to adopt sustainable lifestyles in harmony with nature.

During a November 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed with deep concern the situations being faced by the people of Âu Lạc, explaining the most effective solution.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Moreover, as the glaciers continue to melt, the great Mekong River will begin to dry, because there’s no more support of flowing water – meaning further hardship for farmers as water becomes more scarce.

And the drought, combined with sea level rise would cause further salt water contamination. What kind of world will we have left if these global warming changes continue?

What kind of drinking water, what kind of air we will have, even if the rice plants can grow in salt water? This is a complex ecosystem with a long, long history of supporting human life, so, there is no easy answer. But the most effective one I know, which is so simple, easy and also scientifically proven, is to adopt the meat-free, animal-free lifestyle. If everyone stops the killing and consumption of meat, these destructive changes
will also stop.

It is the best thing to help us, to help the farmers and the entire country of Âu Lạc (Vietnam), not just the Mekong Delta.