Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: April 01, 2020

Clean Water in Malawi and Nigeria, Thanks to You

Recently, students and staff at Don Bosco High School in Nkhotakota, Malawi celebrated the installation of a new community water well. Holding up letters that together spell “Thank You,” and accompanied by a drum and guitar, these exuberant girls and boys sang their gratitude to the kind donors, like you, who made it all possible.

Don Bosco High School serves 378 students from Nkhotakota and several surrounding communities. Although it’s located near a large lake, and connected to a municipal water source, Father J. Czerwinski explains that “there were still acute water shortages every day. The town supply is very erratic and unreliable. This caused problems for our students including a lack of proper hygiene which is a health hazard, as well as no water for cooking and drinking.” These challenges, in particular, affected the school’s 160 boarding students.

The new well—funded by Salesian Missions’ Clean Water Initiative—includes a solar-powered water pump that delivers fresh water for drinking, cooking and bathing. Now, instead of spending time searching for safe water, students have more time to focus on their education.

In Nigeria, five communities also now have access to an improved water source thanks to the generosity and support of our donors. Completed water well projects in the states of Bagbe, Litaye, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, and Imo will provide clean water to more than 20,000 impoverished children and families, which will reduce outbreaks of water-borne disease and remove the burden of having to walk hours each day in search of water.

Nigeria and Malawi are among those countries most affected by the global water crisis.

“Roughly 40 percent of the estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide who lack access to safely managed drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa,” explains Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “This is why we’re so focused on funding sustainable, community-based projects here—and in similarly challenged areas around the world.”

In Nigeria, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, only 26.5 percent of the population has access to improved drinking water sources and sanitation facilities. While the situation is better in Malawi, where 80 percent of the population can access an improved source of drinking water, over 4 million people still can’t—and only 6 percent has access to improved sanitation facilities. In both countries, safe water sources are scarcest—or most highly restricted—in rural areas and poor communities, which leads to higher rates of illness and death from water-borne disease.

“Our Clean Water Initiative is critical to ensuring that children and youth who participate in our programs around the world can stay focused on their education, break out of poverty, and help improve their communities,” says Fr. Gus. “We believe access to safe water is a basic human right, and we work hard to bring this precious resource to those in greatest need. Just like those children in Malawi, we are forever grateful to our many generous friends, who make all of this possible.”

You may view a video of grateful students in Malawi here. And, you can learn more about our Clean Water Initiative, and ways you can help make a difference, here.

Our mission brings clean, safe and locally available water to those who need it most. What’s your mission?

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