INDIA: Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” provides funding for new bathroom facilities and septic tank at Don Bosco Center Rangajan
Constructing new restroom facilities will help improve health and hygiene as well as curb the outbreak of disease.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 25, 2019) The Don Bosco Center Rangajan, located in Assam, India, will be able to construct several restroom facilities that include 50 new toilets and a septic tank, thanks to funding from Salesian Missions donors. The project is part of a Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” which will ensure that the mostly poor, indigenous residents from a number of remote villages who use the center will have access to adequate facilities.
At the Don Bosco Center Rangajan, Salesian missionaries provide both a high school and vocational technical training facility. Constructing decent restroom facilities in these villages will help improve health and hygiene as well as curb the outbreak of disease.
With more than 1.3 billion people, India’s growing population is putting a severe strain on the country’s natural resources. According to Water.org, close to 77 million people do not have access to safe, clean water and 769 million have no sanitation services. Most water sources throughout the country are contaminated by sewage and agricultural runoff.
While India has made some progress in the supply of safe water, there remain gross disparities in safe water access across the country. The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water with diarrhea alone causing more than 1,600 deaths daily. Access to proper sanitation is extremely poor, particularly in rural areas where only 14 percent of the population has access to a latrine.
The World Toilet Organization has noted that the world is not on track to reach Sustainable Development Goal 6 which ensures availability and sustainable management of sanitation and water for all by 2030. It indicates that 4.5 billion people live without safely managed sanitation and 892 million people still practice open defecation. The impact of exposure to human waste has a devastating impact on public health, living conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.
In response to this crisis, Salesian Missions has developed a “Clean Water Initiative” that has made building wells and supplying fresh, clean water a top priority for every community in every country in which Salesian missionaries work.
“Having access to proper sanitation brings a sense of dignity to the children and families we serve in our programs,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “Improving water and sanitation facilities also ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water, reducing the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools keeping them away from important study time.”
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
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