In Namibia, more than one quarter of the population lacks access to clean water and more than half lacks access to proper sanitation facilities. Inadequate water and sanitation are major causes of disease, reducing a community’s ability to thrive. Prior to the new water tank, the church had no running water or proper sanitation. As a result, no one could use the church facilities and often programs at the youth center were cancelled.
Salesian missionaries now report that the water situation has improved, church services can start and they are compliant with COVID-19 requirements. Salesians are able to help prevent waterborne illness, and there are increased numbers of youth attending programs.
“The water project at St. John Bosco Parish was met with great success,” said Father Louis Malama, project manager at Don Bosco Youth Center. “The new water tank has improved and provided sufficient clean and safe water for youth who come for various programs and church services. We are thankful to our donors and to Salesian Missions.”
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.
Source: Salesian Missions