Salesians Reach Out to Survivors of Equatorial Guinea Explosions with Emergency Aid

Smoke billowing from Nkoa Ntoma military camp in Bata following the March 7 series of blasts.

Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) are reaching out to hundreds of survivors of the March 7 series of blasts in Equatorial Guinea that resulted in the loss of at least 107 human lives and more than 600 injured people in the country’s Diocese of Bata.

In a Monday, Tuesday 22 report obtained by ACI Africa, SDB members in the Central African nation note that in the aftermath of the explosions, the affected population showed up at the Salesians Spanish Institute in Bata “to receive help and attention.”

Slightly over two weeks since the explosions occurred, the Salesians have welcomed at least 100 people, mainly women and children, to the Spanish Institute, they say, adding that another 200 people take their daily lunch and dinner at the Salesian facility.

“Another large group of 200 people are being helped in the neighborhoods where they have been relocated as displaced persons,” SDB members say in the report published by Agenzia Info Salesiana (ANS), the information service of the Salesians.

The leadership of the Salesian Office of Madrid in Spain, “Misiones Salesianas”, has donated 5,000 euros to SDB members of the Institute in Equatorial Guinea toward the support of those affected by the March 7 blasts.


Much more is needed, SDB members in the Central African country say in the March 22 report, explaining, “there is an urgent need for clothes, non-perishable food, (and) medicines.”

“We are experiencing something worse than a horror movie. The Salesian school is located 2.5 kilometers from the site of the explosions and we did not suffer major damage, but everything shook and even I jumped because of the shock wave,” the Director of the Spanish Institute of the Salesians of Bata, Fr. Francisco Moro, has been quoted as saying.

In the aftermath of the explosions, “Everyone arrived traumatized by what they had experienced and from the first moment we offered them the opportunity to have breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Fr. Moro recalls, making reference to the survivors of the explosions of March 7.

According to the Salesian Cleric, besides offering food to the affected people, SDB members in Bata are also taking the sick to the hospitals and visiting them, as well as conducting leisure activities to distract the children from the trauma of the explosions.

“But we need help to be able to continue to take care of them, because many others come to have lunch here due to the consequences of the pandemic,” Fr. Moro further says.

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The Salesians’ response comes amid calls for help by Catholic Bishops in Africa and Madagascar who have asked "people of good conscience," the leadership of Church, and civil organizations on the continent and beyond to come to the aid of the people of God in Equatorial Guinea.

In their March 15 statement sent to ACI Africa, the leadership of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) also expressed solidarity with the people in the country, assuring them of the prayers of the Church-family-of-God in Africa.

“Look up to God with hope; He suffers with you and has not abandoned you. Courage!" Bishops in Africa and Madagascar said in the statement signed by SECAM’s President, Philippe Cardinal Ouedraogo.