Ghana: Salesians Support Small Rural Communities

01 May 2019

Providing Water to the Thirsty

Salesians Support Small Rural Communities

(ANS – Ashaiman, Ghana – April 30) – Water is essential for all living organisms. Its role is so vital in our lives that it is recognized as a fundamental human right. Indeed, the United Nations has dedicated the sixth of its Sustainable Development Goals to water: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” Unfortunately, however, access to water, especially to clean drinking water, is a luxury for many societies across the globe.

The Salesians of the English-speaking West Africa ​​(AFW) Province, in their mission of evangelization, education, and social promotion, operate in over 50 villages and communities, with a population ranging from 70 to 3,500 inhabitants each. These are, therefore, small or very small settlements, mostly cut off from the main cities, with a weak or non-existent roads network. Basically, they are communities that rely on streams or surface water courses for their water supply.

Such water sources are up to three miles from some villages and are not always hygienically safe. In addition, most of them dry up during the dry season, leaving little, if any, water, and that is often not potable. Thus the communities struggle and end up quarreling among themselves, and also with animals, to divide what little remains.

Therefore the Salesians of AFW are working to supply these communities with drinking water, thanks to the international support from various Salesian mission offices throughout the world: Salesian Missions of New Rochelle; Misiones Salesianas of Madrid; Don Bosco Mission in Vienna; and Don Bosco Mission of Bonn.

[Editor’s note: in 2018 the New Rochelle Province used the annual province solidarity collection toward this water project.]

Thanks to this joint effort, 18 interventions are being carried out for the extraction of water, 11 in the Sunyani region, in west central Ghana, and 7 in Tatale, at the eastern end, almost on the border with Togo.

They are mostly wells with hand-pump boreholes (13), but there are also a water tower/tank, 3 mechanized borehole wells, and a mechanized solar-powered water pump.

Overall, these interventions are benefiting the lives of around 4,020 people in the area of Sunyani and another 3,430 in the Tatale area.

“Provision of water, besides being a work of mercy, is an integral part of our pastoral strategy based on holistic human development, respect for human rights, and preventive pedagogy,” concludes Benson Osei-Savio Boateng of the AFW Office of Planning and Development.