Salesians Facilitate “quality and potable” Water to Thousands in Ghana’s Sunyani Diocese

Credit: Salesian Missions

The U.S.-based development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Salesian Missions, has facilitated clean water supply to thousands of people in Ghana’s Catholic Diocese of Sunyani.

Through the “Clean Water Initiative,” a Salesian Missions project, SDB members at the Catholic institution have drilled boreholes and provided hand pumps to the people of God in localities within Bono region covered by the Ghanaian Diocese, a Monday, January 3 report indicates.

“The project improves the access to quality and potable water for the villages that are part of the Odumase Mary Help of Christians Parish under the Catholic Diocese of Sunyani. The Parish has 16 outstations and 22 villages,” SDB officials say in the report.

“Water remains one of the main challenges in the Bono region,” Salesian missionaries say, adding that access to the nearest available source of water is several miles from the villages. 

Due to the lack of access to water, SDB officials further say in the January 3 report, people's health has been negatively affected. 


“The farmers who live in the region depend on stream water for all their needs and have to share it with grazing animals. The health and social implications of utilizing this water are having devastating effects on the community,” they say.

In the report, the Director of Salesian Missions says improving the access to water “brings a sense of dignity to children and families and reduces the number of waterborne illnesses.”

“Water is essential for life, which is why Salesian Missions has made it a priority that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” Fr. Gus Baek has been quoted as saying in the January 3 report. 

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that one out of every 10 people in Ghana have to spend more than 30 minutes to access an improved source of drinking water. 

“Another 11 per cent of the population still drink from surface and other unsafe water sources,” UNICEF indicates, and adds that “only four per cent of households treat water suitably before drinking and 93 per cent of households do not treat water at all.”

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"There is a strong link between poverty and collection time for water, with the poorest people over 20 times more likely to spend more than 30 minutes collecting water than wealthier people," UNICEF has reported. 

In the January 3 report, Salesian officials say nearly 45 percent of the Ghanaian population lives on less than $1 a day. 

"Rural poverty remains widespread in the dry savannah region that covers roughly two thirds of Ghana’s northern territory,” Salesians say in the report, and add, “Small-scale farms suffer from a lack of infrastructure and equipment, both of which are needed to shift from subsistence farming to more modern commercial farming which would yield greater incomes and a chance to escape poverty."

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.