Salesian Missions Facilitate Access to Safe Drinking Water in Equatorial Guinea

Clean Water Initiative by Salesian Missions in Equatorial Guinea

While 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water globally, Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco is bridging the gap by helping local communities in the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea get access to safe drinking water through the “Clean Water Initiative.”

The development agency has drilled a new well and constructed a water tank at Sacred Heart Parish in the Diocese of Ebebiyín, northeast of the country and plans are underway for 17 other water facilities.

“In this remote, impoverished diocese there are a number of parishes where the population lives without safe drinking water,” the Salesian Missions has reported on its website.

With the Clean Water Initiative, the Salesian missionaries hope to alleviate the water crisis, increase sanitation, improve the health of children, and supply clean drinking water by constructing wells and cisterns in 18 rural sites.

Despite the only available water being of poor quality, the residents are unable to purchase mineral water, due to their inability to achieve “more than a subsistence economy” through the dominant economic activities of agriculture and livestock rearing.


“The poor-quality water is consumed daily without any guarantee for health and often results in harmful consequences,” the Salesian Missions has observed and affirmed, “Digging water wells and installing water tanks ensure that people have the clean, fresh water they need.”

“Water is essential for life, and it’s critical that Salesian programs around the globe have access to safe, clean water for the health and safety of those we serve,” Director of Salesian Missions Fr. Gus Baek has been quoted as saying and added, “Improving water and sanitation facilities brings a sense of dignity to communities and promotes proper hygiene and safe drinking water.”

The global initiative involves the building of wells, installing water systems, constructing bathrooms and sanitation facilities, developing water supplies for rural communities and more.

While access to water and sanitation is an internationally recognized human right, UN Water estimates that in Sub-Saharan Africa, only 24 percent of the population have access to safe drinking water, and 28 percent have basic sanitation facilities that are not shared with other households. 

To mitigate the impact of the poor water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, Salesian Missions has committed itself “to make building wells and supplying fresh, clean water a top priority for every community in every country in which Salesian missionaries work” through the Clean Water Initiative.

More in Africa

Besides Equatorial Guinea, the development agency has successfully completed similar Clean Water Initiative projects in other African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Madagascar, Togo, Benin, Ghana and Zambia.

Other projects are underway in Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, DR Congo, Namibia, Madagascar and Burundi. Two more projects are underway in Ghana.

With the Clean Water Initiative, the Salesians of Don Bosco are helping achieve Goal 7 of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which envisions universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.