African water ministers meet in Ethiopia. - 28 Nov 2010  
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Beginning Monday, November 22, African Water Week, held in the nation’s capital Addis Ababa brought together ministers from more than 20 countries to discuss sustainable utilization of the continent’s water resources.

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), eight countries are on course to fulfill the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of reducing by at least half the populations still in need of basic water and sanitation systems.

These include Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, South Africa, Angola and Botswana. Another key aspect of the meeting was the distribution of the newly-released “Africa Water Atlas” prepared by UNEP, which consolidates information about the role of water in Africa's economies and development.

Detailed mapping and other images in the 326-page document show how rainwater conservation and irrigation projects in drought-prone regions such as Kenya, Senegal and Sudan are improving food security.
At the same time, the atlas also describes predicaments that have been created by events such as oil spills, deforestation and climate change.

These are noted to be creating vulnerabilities in the continent’s source water regions and could jeopardize key supplies if their causative conditions continue.

Our heartfelt thanks for your concerned interest and commitment to the African people, African Water Week participants and United Nations Environment Program.

May your meeting be the basis for initiatives that bring abundant supplies of clean water for the gracious people of Africa.

During an October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the need to conserve this precious resource, while also highlighting another action that would increase the water available to all beings.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: There are also good ways to harvest the rainwater,by guiding the rain into the soil to be used by the trees and the plants. They use these water-conserving techniques in dry parts of Africa and India and,as a result,
the water level rises more than they take out from their wells.

But even these water losses pale in comparison to the incredible amount of water that is wasted for animal production. It takes approximately 4,664 liters of water to produce just one serving of beef,but an entire vegan meal can be produced with only 371 liters of water. People are dying from droughts,people are leaving their villages,their hometowns because they don’t have any more water to drink.

Just because where I am sitting,I am lucky to still have water,doesn’t mean tens of millions of other people are as lucky. 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.

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