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NAMIBIA: Village receives vital access to clean water

Project made possible thanks to donor funding from the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’


(MissionNewswire) People living in the Ngwa-ngwa village, close to Rundu, Namibia, have access to clean water thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The project, part of the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative,” provided a new borewell and water tank to supply fresh drinking water.

In Namibia, over one quarter of the population lacks access to clean water and more than half lack access to proper sanitation facilities. Inadequate water and sanitation are major causes of disease, and reduce a community’s ability to thrive.

Ngwa-ngwa is a small village of 250 people. Most of the people living there are poor and survive on small-scale farming and government grants. The village has erratic shortages of water. The only water source is a small river that runs during the rainy season and dries up in summer. During summer, people survive on water from unsafe holes and small wells, causing many to become sick. The COVID-19 pandemic has also created a demand for improved hygiene.

In order to address these water challenges, donor funding was used for a solar-powered borewell and a 10,000-liter tank (2,641 gallons). The tank was mounted three meters (3.2 yards) up from the ground to ensure stronger water pressure. Solar power was used as an alternative green energy. Two water taps have also been installed to allow people to collect water without difficulty.

“People in this village have struggled a lot and suffer so much due to lack of water,” said Father Louis Malama, the parish priest who oversaw the project. “Access to safe drinking water is vital for social well-being. The new water supply will alleviate unnecessary sicknesses and will help the start of a vegetable garden that will reduce poverty in the village.”

This new water source also provided clean water access at Don Bosco Youth Primary School in the village. Clean water will help prevent illness caused by waterborne disease and increase the number of children coming to school to learn.

According to the World Bank, Namibia is just one of nine countries in Africa considered as upper middle income, but poverty is still prevalent with extreme wealth imbalances. Namibia’s poverty rate is 32 percent with an unemployment rate of 29.6 percent. Poverty in Namibia is acute in the northern regions of Kavango, Oshikoto, Zambezi, Kunene and Ohangwena, where upwards of one-third of the population lives in poverty. HIV prevalence in the country is 16.9 percent.

Salesian programs across Namibia are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

To learn more about the Salesian Missions Clean Water Initiative, go to SalesianMissions.org/water.



Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (contact for usage permissions)

Salesian Missions – Namibia

World Bank – Namibia

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