SAMOA: Salesian Missions Funds New Water Tank Project at Don Bosco College and Vocational Center
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco College and Vocational Center in Salelologa, a village district at the east end of Savai’i Island in Samoa, has a new water tank system thanks to funding provided by Salesian Missions, the U.S development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The funding helped to provide water tanks and pumps for water storage necessary for the school especially during Samoa’s dry season.
Samoa is located close to the equator and experiences climatic extremes each year. The wet season typically has heavy rainfall over an extended period of time. The corresponding dry season can result in extended periods without any significant rainfall at all. Interruptions to the water supply to homes and schools during the dry season can occur frequently. This has caused problems for Don Bosco College and Vocational Center due to the reliance on the town water supply.
The provision of a suitable alternative water supply will assist with the day-to-day operations of the college and allow for a substantial reserve supply of water throughout the year. An assessment was conducted to determine the likely water storage requirements for Don Bosco College and Vocational Center, which has an enrollment of 300 students with expected increases over the next few years. A local contractor was engaged to provide advice on the project and determined that ten 10,000 liter water tanks would provide a supply of water sufficient for the college requirements.
The college is located downhill from the location of seven new water tanks so that the school water will be gravity-fed without the expense of additional water pumps. The college located three new water tanks at the new Don Bosco Hall, which is currently under construction. This will provide a separate water supply to a location situated away from the existing water pipes and avoid additional expense to the college. The new water tanks and associated pumps and pipes will be maintained by college maintenance staff as a part of their normal duties.
“The absence of a reliable water supply had consequences for the college’s ability to provide safe and hygienic facilities for staff and students,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Improving water and sanitation facilities ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water, reducing the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools keeping them away from important study time.”
Samoa boasts one of the most stable and healthy economies in the Pacific region, according to the World Bank. The poverty rate, once just over 25 percent, has dropped closer to 20 percent as the country strives to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, a blueprint driving efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.
Although Samoa has made impressive progress in social development, many rural communities in the country grapple with an unequal distribution of wealth and benefits. Poorer communities in remote parts of the islands are particularly vulnerable, especially in areas most likely to be affected by cyclones or other natural disasters. Gender inequality is apparent as women strive and often fail to find the same work and income opportunities as men and youth find it increasingly difficult to find livable wage employment in the country. Salesian programs in Samoa are working to provide youth with an education and training as well as the necessary resources to find and keep employment.
World Bank – Samoa