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EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Sacred Heart Parish has clean, fresh water in the village of Okong-Oyeck thanks to Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’

(MissionNewswire) Sacred Heart Parish in the Diocese of Ebebiyín in Equatorial Guinea has clean, fresh water in the village of Okong-Oyeck thanks to a Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” project. The water well project is one of 18 planned for the area once funding is secured.

The province of Kie-Ntem, in which the Diocese of Ebebiyín is located, is in Equatorial Guinea’s northeast and has a population of 263,000 people. The area is especially rural and the provincial capital Ebebiyín is 221 kilometers from the next larger city of Bata. In this remote, impoverished diocese there are several parishes where the population lives without safe drinking water.

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

Kie-Ntem has three large administrative districts including the administrative district of Ebebiyín with 86 village councils, the Micomeseng district with 54 village councils and the Nsok-Nsomo district with 47 village councils. In each village council, there is a chapel or an oratory. The level of literacy within the rural population is still relatively low, and there is still a long way to go to achieve quality education.

The villages rely on agriculture and livestock but are unable to achieve more than a subsistence economy. The only water available is of poor quality, and the residents can’t purchase mineral water. The poor quality water is consumed daily without any guarantee for health and often results in harmful consequences. Digging water wells and installing water tanks ensure that people have the clean, fresh water they need.

The construction of the well and cistern in the village of Okong-Oyeck was completed in May 2020 after several challenges because of the coronavirus pandemic. The work was slowed down and at times completely stopped. Now, the project is completed and residents are accessing clean, fresh water.

“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,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Improving water and sanitation facilities brings a sense of dignity to communities and promotes proper hygiene and safe drinking 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.

For those who have no access to clean water, water-related disease is common with more than 840,000 people dying each year from water-related diseases. 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.

In response to this crisis, Salesian Missions continues its “Clean Water Initiative” to make building wells and supplying fresh, clean water a top priority for every community in every country in which Salesian missionaries work.

To give to this project and ensure that villages in the Diocese of Ebebiyín have access to clean, fresh water, give at Salesian Missions Clean Water Initiative.

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World Water Day 2020