, 16 May, 2020 / 1:58 AM
To facilitate access to safe and readily available water to hundreds of residents at a Maputo community in Mozambique, the U.S.-based development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the Salesian Missions has funded the digging of a borewell through the “Clean Water Initiative.”
Through the funding, Salesian Missionaries in Luís Cabral neighborhood of Maputo have finished the first phase of the water project, which involved identifying a suitable water source, demarcation of the area, drilling and opening of a borewell, and water pressure tests.
“The need for a borewell and new water source for the Salesian community is due to the high cost of water,” the leadership of Salesian Missions wrote in a statement shared with ACI Africa May 13 referencing the water supplied by the national network FIPAG (Investment Fund and Heritage of Water Supply).
“FIPAG also faces water supply capacity problems and has not been able to meet the demand for water. There are several restrictions and breaks in the supply that sometimes last a week. This makes it extremely difficult to run an educational institution with so many students,” Salesian Missions U.S. Media Representative, Hannah Gregory has stated in the report.
The Salesian community in Luis Cabral is home to the Salesian coordination house, which is the headquarters of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Southern African nation.
The community is also home to a Salesian college, which trains 600 students for professional, technical and vocational schools.
With its own water supply, the New York-based media representative is optimistic that the 110-year-old Salesian Community in Mozambique “will have access to the water supply they need, keep costs low and ensure the quality of water provided to Salesian staff and students.”
“Salesian communities must have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” Salesian Missions Director, Fr. Gus Baek has been quoted as saying.
The Salesian of Don Bosco Cleric has added, “Improving water access ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water. This reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”
The second phase of the project will involve the installation of an electrical pump and switchboard and other activities for clean water access, Ms. Gregory noted in the report shared with ACI Africa May 13.
According to UNICEF, only 49 percent of the 29.5 million Mozambicans have access to clean water.
Besides Mozambique, Salesian Missions has successfully completed similar Clean Water Initiative projects in other African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Madagascar, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi and Zambia.
Meanwhile, the New York-based development agency has launched its annual “Loaves and Fishes” fundraiser, which is expected to solicit funds toward the shipping of life-saving aid to more than 130 countries around the globe.
“Because the cost of shipping this critical aid is far less than its value, donations are multiplied many times over. For every dollar donated, Salesian Missions is able to ship $14 worth of critical goods to its programs,” Ms. Gregory has stated in a separate report shared with ACI Africa May 13.
The fundraising appeal is expected to run through the end of June 2020.
“Salesian Missions also maintains several key partnerships that help to secure and donate critical aid like food, water, medicine and housing supplies,” Ms. Gregory indicated in the report, adding, “Partnerships with organizations like Feed My Starving Children and Rise Against Hunger ensure that students in Salesian programs have access to life-saving food aid that provides healthy nutritious meals so youth can focus on their studies and receive an education.”
“More than 30,000 Salesian missionaries are dedicated to caring for poor and at-risk youth in programs around the globe,” she added and concluded, “Salesian programs assist poor and disadvantaged youth through education (academic, trade, agriculture) and workforce development initiatives, emergency relief and humanitarian aid, infrastructure support, clean water initiatives, and nutritional and health services.”
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Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa