GHANA: Close to 5,000 people have access to clean water thanks to the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’
7 projects provided new boreholes and hand pumps to villages in the Bono region.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 1, 2022) Close to 5,000 people in villages across the Bono region of Ghana have access to clean water thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The seven projects, part of the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative,” provided new boreholes, hand pumps, and in a few of the projects, water tanks to the villages.
Water remains one of the main challenges in the Bono region. Access to the nearest available water sources is several miles from these villages. The residents, mostly 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. Residents have waited for a long time for a better and cleaner water source for drinking, cooking, and other activities, and they are appreciative of the support and assistance.
Leticia Gyan, a community resident in the village of Nafa Nkwanta, said, “It has been our dream and we have been praying about it. It is really difficult to find drinking water here when the stream dries. Sometimes we have to go to Senase, a community 7 km away, to get some water for drinking. So, we have to ration it otherwise. When we finish it, we have to walk through hills and valleys to reach Senase in order to get water again. I think now we can also bathe. I am very happy. We are all happy.”
The chief and elder of the Aboabo village also expressed appreciation, saying “Many years of long-distance walking in search of water on a daily basis has now come to an end. With this precious gift, we think that you are not only giving us drinking water but also helping us to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful and may God bless everyone involved. We are highly honored.”
U.N.-Water estimates that worldwide 2.2 billion people are living without access to safe water. One in four primary schools has no drinking water service, with students using unprotected water sources or going thirsty. In addition, U.N.-Water notes that more than 700 children under age 5 die every day from diarrheal disease linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.
“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,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Improving water access brings a sense of dignity to children and families and reduces the number of waterborne illnesses.”
While Ghana’s economy continues to improve, nearly 45 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, according to UNICEF. Rural poverty remains widespread in the dry savannah region that covers roughly two thirds of Ghana’s northern territory. 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.
To learn more about the Salesian Missions Clean Water Initiative, go to SalesianMissions.org/water.
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