Salesians Facilitate Access to Clean Water for Five Communities in Nigeria

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in Nigeria have facilitated access to safe drinking water to natives of some five communities in Africa’s most populous nation the project dubbed “Clean Water Initiative.”

Realized through a partnership with Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of SDB, the initiative has involved the sinking of boreholes that will provide clean water to communities in Southeastern Nigeria including Alaenyi, Umuaju, Bagbe, Nsasak Afaha and Neke.

In a report shared with ACI Africa, Wednesday, December 9, the leadership of the Catholic agency says, “Due to geographic conditions, there is very little potable water in this region and people—mostly women and children—are forced to travel long distances to access clean water for their daily needs or rely on rain and river water, which can sometimes be contaminated.”

The new boreholes will provide clean water, reduce outbreaks of waterborne diseases and eliminate the need for traveling hours each day in search of water, officials of the New York-based agency say in the report dated December 8.

“Poor residents of these communities, students, and women and children will benefit from these boreholes,” the officials of Salesian Missions say, and add, “Children can remain in school instead of searching for water. Women no longer have to travel long distances, often risking their lives just to find a water source.”


With a population of at least 195 million people, Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and the eighth most populated in the world. The UN estimates that the West African nation will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050.

Despite being the second strongest economy in Africa, 40 percent of the total population live below the poverty line, according to the “2019 Poverty and Inequality in Nigeria” report.

The poverty levels translate to poor sanitation, with the reporting that only 48 percent of Nigeria’s population has access to basic drinking water sources, and only 33 percent has access to sanitation.

With the Clean Water Initiative projects in Nigeria, SDB members hope to help in providing access to clean water to 52 percent of Nigerians and sanitation facilities to the 67 percent of the population who do not have them.

This will help achieve Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which strives to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all.

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“The water projects we fund ensure that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” the Director of Salesian Missions, Fr. Gus Baek has been quoted as saying in the December 9 report.

He adds, “Ensuring access to clean water brings a sense of dignity to communities and promotes proper hygiene. This also reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”