MALAWI: Hundreds of school children given much-needed access to safe water source
Don Bosco High School digs second borehole thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco High School in Nkhotakota, Malawi, was able to dig a second borehole to provide clean, fresh water for its students and staff thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The funding was utilized to dig a borehole, install a water pump and solar panels, and construct a water tank.
Don Bosco High School was launched in direct response to the need for education for youth in the southwestern part of Nkhotakota. The school started with 88 students and six teachers. Today, Don Bosco High School has 378 students across four grades educated by 20 teachers. More than half of the students are from the local community, but the school does board 160 students.
“The biggest challenge the school faced was the chronic lack of regular water supply for both our boarding and day students,” said Father J. Czerwinski, rector of the Salesian community. “Although the school is near a large lake and connected to the town water source, there were still acute water shortages every day. The town supply is very erratic and unreliable. This caused problems for our students including a lack of proper hygiene, a health hazard, and no water for cooking and drinking.”
Fr. Czerwinski added, “On behalf of the students from Don Bosco High School and the Salesian community, I would like to thank the donors who have contributed toward this project. Without their help we would not be able to drill the borehole. Now students and the community have a sufficient amount of water. This directly positively impacts their educational environment.”
UN-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, 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, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, 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.
In Malawi, more than 50 percent of the population lives in poverty and the majority of households have women as the head of the household, according to the World Bank. Located in southeast Africa, Malawi is a landlocked country bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique to the east, south and west.
Agriculture is a central part of Malawi’s economy, but land distribution is unequal and crops are highly vulnerable to the region’s frequent droughts. Few houses have piped water and less than one in 10 Malawians has access to electricity. Water is collected from wells or streams, and most people cook over an open fire. Malawians deal with hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, 45 percent of the country’s children under age 5 are stunted due to a lack of adequate nutrition. Many children also lack educational opportunities and have few options for improving their circumstances.
Photos courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)
Salesian Missions – Malawi
UNICEF – Malawi