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DR CONGO: Distributing bottled drinking water to people in need

Salesian missionaries with the Assumption of Mary Province of Central Africa are supplying bottled drinking water to people in need in Lubumbashi

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the Assumption of Mary Province of Central Africa, are supplying drinking water for distribution to the local population in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Father Albert Kabuge, provincial, inaugurated and blessed the new facility and thanked the benefactors for supporting the project.

The water, which has been labeled Don Bosco Water, is bottled and distributed to the local population. Many in the region lack access to clean, fresh water for drinking and proper hand hygiene. This water is vital for the local population during the pandemic.

“Salesians have answered the call for added support during the COVID-19 pandemic in communities around the globe,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Whether it’s food rations, making masks, providing sanitizer and soap, or ensuring clean water access, Salesian missionaries have assessed local needs and sprung to action, sometimes in very creative ways, to meet the need like they have done in the DRC with Don Bosco Water.”

UN-Water estimates that worldwide 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and by 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people, pushing global water demand up to 30 percent higher than today. One in four primary schools has no drinking water service, with students using unprotected water sources or going thirsty. In addition, UN-Water notes that more than 700 children under 5 years of age die every day from diarrheal disease linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Despite its vast material wealth, the DRC has long been a very poor nation. Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line on less than $1 a day, especially those in rural communities. Because of ongoing strife and violence within the country, more than 8.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, a figure that’s expected to increase. More than 4.1 million Congolese are now displaced with 620,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. More than 7.5 million people do not have enough food to eat.

Salesian missionaries have been working in the DRC for more than 100 years ensuring that the most vulnerable children are not forgotten. Salesian primary and secondary schools and programs lay the foundation for early learning while Salesian trade, vocational and agricultural programs offer many youth the opportunity for a stable and productive future.

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Sources:

ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS) 

ANS – D.R. Congo – “Don Bosco Water” of Salesian Province of Central Africa

Salesian Missions – Democratic Republic of the Congo

UNICEF – DR Congo