Salesians’ Clean Water Initiative Benefiting Hundreds in Zambian, Namibian Villages

Credit: Salesian Missions

The U.S.-based development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Salesian Missions, has facilitated the access to clean water to hundreds of residents of a Catholic Parishes in Zambia and in Namibia.

Through the Clean Water Initiative, SDB members constructed a new borewell and a water tank at St. Mary’s Parish of Kabwe Diocese in Kamakuti village.

“More than 300 residents of the Kamakuti village in Kabwe, Zambia, have clean, fresh water thanks to the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative,’” SDB officials say in a Monday, November 28 report.

They say that the provision of clean water to the community members is an advantage to both women and children as they have been relieved of long distances they initially had to travel in search of the precious commodity. 

SDB officials say in the report, “This is the first time this community has clean fresh water. Women and children will no longer have to travel a distance to bring back water to the village.”


In the November 28 report, the Director of the U.S development arm of the SDB, Salesian Missions, acknowledges with appreciation partners who facilitated the realization of the initiative. 

“Water projects in Zambia and around the globe ensure people coming to Salesian parishes, schools, and centers have access to the water they need. This brings a sense of hope and dignity to the people Salesians serve,” Fr. Gus Baek is quoted as saying.

In the report, SDB officials express concern about other challenges in the Southern African nation, saying, “There is also a lack of education facilities for children, and people travel long distances to access a health center.”

They say that due to other challenges such as HIV/AIDS and poverty in Zambia, several children in the country are vulnerable and that “these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.”

SDB officials go on to reflect on the poverty situation in the country and note that 64 percent of the total population is living below the poverty line. 

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They say, “For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent.”

A UNICEF report on the Southern African nation indicates that “Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.”

Meanwhile, Salesian Missions has also facilitated the realization of “a new borewell, water tank and pump” to the inhabitants of Ruurumwe village in the outskirts of Rundu in Namibia.

In a report shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, November 29, the day it was published, SDB officials say that 550 have been able to overcome water challenges, having been relying on “water supply from a small seasonal river” that they say “is erratic and too often not enough.”

During summer, the residents of the Namibian village have also been surviving “on water from holes and small wells, but this water is not safe for human consumption,” Salesian officials say, and add, “The new borewell and 5,000-liter water storage tank will supply fresh, clean water for the entire village and allow people to grow food for the community.”


Ethel Hamutenya, a beneficiary of the water initiative, has been quoted expressing gratitude for the Salesians’ new water supply. 

Hamutenya whose challenges include stopping formal education at grade nine after becoming pregnant and has not been able to return to school prides in a garden she has established thanks to the water initiative.

“Today I have a small garden that has given me hope in my life. I have planted some vegetables and my life has changed because of this water. If I work hard, after next year, I will have enough money to go back to school,” Hamutenya who was previously struggling to feed herself as well as her child is quoted as saying.

The November 29 report shared with ACI Africa indicates that “Salesian programs across Namibia are primarily focused on education.”

“Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care,” the report further shows.

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Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.