Indeed, 2014 marked the fourth consecutive year in which Giorgio Armani and Green Cross International have collaborated to bring a safe supply of clean water to those in need. The last year has seen a significant expansion of the program into Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal, bringing the number of countries benefiting from this partnership to seven.
Acqua for Life is a humanitarian campaign on a global scale that was launched in 2011 by Giorgio Armani. The project was created in light of a simple, yet fundamental, consideration: water is one of the most important elements of life, yet in many parts of the world, access to this essential is a daily struggle. 768 million people are deprived of a safe source of drinking water around the world. Children, being the most vulnerable, are the primary victims: 4,000 children die every day across the globe from diseases contracted by consuming unclean or contaminated water.
The aim of Acqua for Life is to bring a safe supply of clean water to those in need. As an outcome of the Acqua for Life program, over 530 million liters of clean water have been generated since the project first started in 2011, and 74 million liters have been collected in 2014 alone. These results have been achieved through 162 critical infrastructure projects, including wells, rainwater harvesting systems, boreholes and water pumps, providing millions of litres of safe water each year in the communities that need it most. As well as directly saving lives, Acqua for Life helps to raise awareness and promote the importance of the major global issue of water safety and scarcity.
The program has expanded across three continents this passed year, by rolling-out projects in seven countries. For the first time Acqua for Life has reached Ivory Coast, Senegal and Sri Lanka. Acqua for Life is now operating in Ghana, Bolivia, China, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
In water-scarce communities, it is primarily women and school-age children who suffer the most, walking tens of kilometres daily to fetch water from distant, often contaminated sources, missing out on opportunities for education and employment that could benefit their entire families and facing severe health and security concerns.
The Acqua for Life program has already had a transformational impact on several thousand individuals lives around the globe, in many ways:
- By providing sustainable, safe access, Giorgio Armani and Green Cross are saving lives by reducing the prevalence of water-borne diseases.
- Children are able to enrol and spend longer time in school, thus seeing educational benefits that will last across their lifetimes.
- Families are able to access enough water for their household needs, to water their vegetable gardens and hydrate their livestock, and so benefit from the nutrition of the household.
- And populations become healthier due to a purer water supply, enabling better attendance and performance at work and school, which contributes positively to the communities’ livelihoods and welfare.
Acqua for Life’s impact is felt all over the world, in many different ways. For example, in Sri Lanka, Acqua for Life has constructed a mega-borehole, and water supply network channelling water directly to households. This has had a direct, transformational impact on 200 families in the area of Pulawala, only 56 of whom had access to water prior to the project. The benefits of the program have been many, including the reduction in the prevalence of water-borne diseases; reduction in the incidence of sickness and disease due to poor sanitation practices; improvements in hygiene standards; decreases in school absenteeism; and improvements to the teaching and learning environment in schools.
In the Richard Toll Town neighbourhood in Senegal, Acqua for Life has started installing a safe water supply system in a school compound this year as part of an on-going commitment to the area where, currently, children have to walk an average of 3 kilometres just to find water.
In the Ivory Coast, where four million people still drink from ‘unimproved’ water sources,
Acqua for Life has laid the first stone of a trans-boundary project by drilling a borehole in the village of Dohouan near the Bia River, a natural frontier between the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Acqua for Life will expand its work and provide water to more communities on both sides of the frontier in 2015, helping eliminate water-borne diseases, which predominantly affect children, and aiding Green Cross International’s efforts to promote cooperation between the two countries and the protection of shared water resources.
“Water is the most precious natural resource on the planet. Green Cross and Giorgio Armani are working together to support those who need it the most. We are delighted to continue this partnership in 2015, and are excited to work towards our shared purpose of providing people all over the world with sustainable sources of safe drinking water”, said Marie-Laure Vercambre, Director of Green Cross International’s Water for Life and Peace program.
Acqua for Life will continue into 2015 seeking to engage a wider audience with the important idea of the preciousness of water.
“In the four years of Acqua for Life we have achieved, together with Green Cross International, access to clean water around the globe increase for several thousand individuals, but unfortunately it still leaves many people without this access. There is still so much to be done, and I look forward to continuing our quest to make safe drinking water available to those who need it“, said Maestro himself, Giorgio Armani.
In addition, Acqua for Life is also present in the United States where Giorgio Armani supported, for the fifth year, UNICEF’s Tap Project. This nationwide campaign provides clean water and adequate sanitation facilities in schools and communities and promote safe hygiene practices to children around the world in more than 100 countries.
Thumbs up. Keep it up!