GHANA: Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” provides funding for boreholes for fresh drinking water in communities of Sunyani and Tatale
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries operate four centers across Ghana that serve poor youth who are at risk of child labor and human trafficking. There are two centers in the urban area of Accra, a new center in the town of Tatale and a center in the city of Sunyani, the first place Salesian missionaries launched programs in the country more than 25 years ago.
A Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” recently provided funding for water projects in Sunyani and Tatale to give residents access to clean drinking water. Many had been using creeks and waterways for drinking water which can lead to sickness and waterborne diseases. In total, four boreholes have been dug and a water tank provided, resulting in clean drinking water for residents. An additional five boreholes are still needed and Salesian missionaries await additional donor funding to cover the expense.
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. UN-Water also indicates that around 1.9 billion people live in potentially severely water-scarce areas. By 2050, this could increase to around 3 billion people.
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. Women and children often bear the primary responsibility for water collection in the majority of households and globally, spend 140 million hours a day collecting water. Children in these communities are forced to walk for hours to collect drinking water—water that often proves contaminated and seriously sickens those who consume it. Many others are unable to attend school regularly because they must spend time searching for distant wells.
“Having access to clean water is essential for the health and safety of those we serve around the globe,” says Father Mark Hyde 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 for the children we serve and ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water. This reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”
While Ghana’s economy continues to improve, nearly 45 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, according to UNICEF. Ghana ranks 139 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Program’s 2017 Human Development Index. 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. Modern methods would yield greater incomes and a chance to escape poverty.
Special Salesian programs are bridging cultural differences between Christians and Muslims and the gender inequities between boys and girls. Efforts are also underway to reduce class sizes which are typically 100 students for every teacher.
UNICEF – Ghana