NAMIBIA: 550 people have clean water access thanks to the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’

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Residents of the Ruurumwe village, located outside of Rundu, Namibia, have access to clean water thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.

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Residents of the Ruurumwe village, located outside of 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, water tank and pump.

The 550 people living in the village are poor and survive on small-scale farming and government grants. The water supply from a small seasonal river is erratic and too often not enough.

During the summer, residents survive on water from holes and small wells, but this water is not safe for human consumption. The new borewell and 5,000-liter water storage tank will supply fresh, clean water for the entire village and allow people to grow food for the community.

One of the beneficiaries, Ethel Hamutenya, has had a difficult life. She had to stop school at grade 9 after she became pregnant, and she has not been able to go back. Hamutenya struggles to find work to earn money to feed herself and her child. She is grateful for the new water supply.

Hamutenya said, “Today I have a small garden that has given me hope in my life. I have planted some vegetables and my life has changed because of this water. If I work hard, after next year, I will have enough money to go back to school.”

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

About Salesian Missions USA
Salesian Missions is headquartered in New Rochelle, NY, and is part of the Don Bosco Network—a worldwide federation of Salesian NGOs. The mission of the U.S.-based nonprofit Catholic organization is to raise funds for international programs that serve youth and families in poor communities around the globe. The Salesian missionaries are made up of priests, brothers and sisters, as well as laypeople—all dedicated to caring for poor children throughout the world in more than 130 countries and helping young people become self-sufficient by learning a trade that will help them gain employment. To date, more than 3 million youth have received services funded by Salesian Missions. These services and programs are provided to children regardless of race or religion. For more information, go to


Hannah Gregory
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