Acqua For Life Challenge Results
For the second consecutive year, Giorgio Armani has joined forces with Green Cross International (www.gcint.org) to support its access to drinking water programmes for communities where it is in short supply and raise public awareness to this major cause.
From 1st March to 31 May 2012, the Acqua for Life operation – a humanitarian campaign on a global scale – was an opportunity to increase this support for GCI and its Smart Water for Green Schools programme, which focuses more specifically on the plight of children in Ghana and, for the first year, in Bolivia. The aim of this programme is to develop infrastructures enabling water supply to villages and directly into schools, thereby improving schoolchildren’s sanitary conditions.
Throughout this period, with every purchase of an Acqua di Gio or Acqua di Gioia fragrance, Giorgio Armani donated the equivalent of 100 L of water to GCI. The operation also comprised a key digital element: each new fan of the Acqua for Life Facebook page automatically donated 50L of water.
- 52,125,629 litres of drinking water collected in total, i.e. 20.3% more than in 2011,
- 8,554,200 litres collected via the Internet challenge,
- 300,000 new fans, 114,000 blog write-ups.
Water around the world
Access to drinking water remains one of our planet’s major challenges. More than 900 million people around the world are still deprived of drinking water. Children are the primary victims of lack of water and water pollution as they are the most fragile. 4,000 children die every day across the globe from diseases contracted by consuming unclean or contaminated water. This is why in 2000 the international community through the United Nations set itself the target of halving the number of people without access to drinking water by 2015.
The problem is particularly critical in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana, 40% of the rural populations have no access to drinking water. In Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, 33% of the rural populations had no access to it in 2010. In certain extremely isolated communities in the province of Santa Cruz selected by the Acqua for Life programme, public reservoirs are located over 50 km from the villages, which often forces the inhabitants to use and even drink water unfit for consumption.
Access to water and education
According to the United Nations, 443 million school days are lost every year because of diseases linked to water and purification. Even when they are not ill, children spend a large part of their time going to fetch water. Giving communities access to water not only remedies this situation, but also changes the face of the village, attracts new teachers and encourages its development.
What are the achievements to date?
In 2011 the Acqua For Life programme benefited 16 communities in Ghana’s Volta region.
2012’s extraordinary results will allow us to maintain the facilities already established (dug wells, drilled wells and rainwater collection system) and help twelve new communities in the Eastern region of Ghana.
In Bolivia, six of the most isolated communities in the Charagua region (province of Santa Cruz) that suffer from a dry period of six to eight months per year are concerned. The aims of the operation include building water collection systems in schools, drilling manual wells that will pump water from the tributaries of the Parapeti river basin, educating families in essential health and hygiene rules, and last but not least teaching them how to use and maintain the new infrastructures.
In the United States, Giorgio Armani also supports the Unicef Tap Water project, which funds access to drinking water programmes in underprivileged countries and projects in China’s Yunnan region, which suffers from serious droughts and extreme weather conditions.
In 2013, the challenge continues
The Acqua for Life programme will continue to support Ghana and Bolivia and will benefit new countries and new communities where water needs are critical.
Armani is also drawing on the strength of its brand to further the cause, providing widespread information about the global water crisis and conveying an essential message all around the world. Visitors to the Acqua for Life fan page will find regular information on the worldwide water situation along with the progress of our projects in Ghana and Bolivia and community life.
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