Don Bosco Agriculture Training Center, located in Lufubu, Zambia, has access to clean water thanks to donor funding from the  Salesian Mission “Clean Water Initiative.” Salesian Missions is the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The 2023 water project brought clean water for more than 90 students and teaching staff and will be used on four hectares of land for farming.

Lufubu experiences a harsh dry season from April until the end of October when the first rainfall cools down the land. The new water resource will give students and students enough water during this time, while also allowing cattle and fields to thrive.

The project provided the funding for the construction of a water stand with a capacity for eight large tanks to store 10,600 gallons of water, a solar pump, solar panels, pipes, connectors, garden taps and labor costs. Funding was also used to purchase seeds and gardening tools. The water and seeds are enabling second-year students to start cultivating small fields as part of their training.

While there are currently 90 students in the school, the number of students is expected to rise to 150 by 2024. Delgracious Chanda is one of the second-year students who has been cultivating tomatoes and has benefited from the new water supply.

A Salesian missionary said, “Chanda is the oldest of six children and is being sponsored by the local government. He will complete his studies at the end of November and go back to his village to share his knowledge of agriculture. His field is doing very well. He’s invested around $50 and his tomato harvest is worth well over $300, which will help him with personal upkeep. We are grateful for the funding to complete this water project.”

Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64% of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80%, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily, and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.