Acqua for Life goes continental, providing safe drinking water in Africa, Latin America and Asia

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Giorgio Armani continues the partnership with Green Cross to support projects in Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal for first time.

Green Cross

About 3000 children die each day of the consequences of unsafe drinking water.

Giorgio Armani is expanding its successful Acqua for Life campaign in partnership with Green Cross International for the fourth consecutive year, targeting water-scarce communities in West Africa, Latin America and, for the first time, the South Asian nation of Sri Lanka in 2014 to roll-out sustainable drinking water systems that will benefit thousands of people.

Acqua for Life, launched in 2011, has in its first three years raised funds for the successful implementation of water pumps, wells and rainwater harvesting systems in more than 60 communities and schools in Ghana, Bolivia, Mexico and China, providing around 150 million litres of water per year.

The aim of the campaign’s 4th edition will be to support the development of water systems in new communities in Africa (Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal), Latin America (Bolivia and Mexico), and Asia (Sri Lanka). It is also a timely milestone ahead of the next Universal Exposition: 2015 Milan Expo, the theme of which is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

“Green Cross and Giorgio Armani are ensuring thousands of people have access to water, the most vital natural resource on the planet,” said Marie-Laure Vercambre, Director of GCI’s Water for Life and Peace programme. “We are delighted to continue this partnership in 2014, and excited to expand into Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Acqua for Life helps GCI and Giorgio Armani work towards our joint ambitions to ensure people all over the world have access to sustainable sources of safe drinking water.”

Acqua for Life generates funds for GCI’s Smart Water for Green Schools project, which has been installing water systems in schools and communities living in water poverty in Africa, Latin America and Asia since 2010.

Through the construction of water supply systems in communities and rainwater harvesting systems in school compounds, Acqua for Life and Green Cross ensure community members, particularly women and children, have sustainable access to safe water.

In water-scarce communities, it is often the role of school-aged children to fetch water from distant, often unsafe, water sources, forcing their absence from class, and also posing health and security concerns. The latter is also true for women, who are traditionally responsible for collecting water for their families.

“About 3000 children die each day of the consequences of unsafe drinking water," says Adam Koniuszewski, GCI’s Chief Operating Officer. "Diarrhea," he adds, "a preventable and easily treatable disease, takes the lives of 760 000 children every year, that is 5 Boeing 747s crashing every day for a year, full of children, as the United Nations Environment Programme puts it in poignant words. Acqua for Life is both a generous initiative that saves lives and the opportunity to raise awareness on this huge development challenge and human tragedy. It is essential that people become aware of it and that governments, communities and all solidarity stakeholders come together to stop this injustice.”

The Acqua for Life projects developed between 2011 and 2013 have improved the lives of several thousands of women, while helping increase school enrollment. In the Bolivian villages of the Municipality of Charagua, school attendance has increased thanks to the installation of these new water facilities. Large increases, particularly of girls, have been recorded in Ghanaian communities that have benefited from Acqua for Life.

Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal will benefit from the Acqua for Life for the first time in 2014.

In Sri Lanka, the remote village of Pulawala, in the Eastern Province district of Amara, is home to around 1,000 people, who face severe water shortages during the April- October dry season. During this period, people – routinely children – must walk 10-15 kilometres to fetch water for their families.

In 2014, Ivory Coast and Senegal will join neighbouring Ghana – where Acqua for Life was launched. In Ghana, Acqua for Life expanded from rural communities into urban areas in 2013, installing mechanized boreholes to provide water to residents of the Aboabo slum, in Ghana’s second biggest city of Kumasi.

In Latin America this year, Green Cross and Giorgio Armani are supporting water-scarce communities in Bolivia and Mexico. Acqua for Life provided 27 Bolivian communities with sustainable water supplies during 2012 and 2013, and two Mexican villages in the State of Morelos (Santo Domingo Ocotitlán and Amatlán de Quetzalcoatl) in 2013.


For further information, please contact:

Green Cross International
Carole Apotheloz
Telephone: +41 22 789 16 62
Email: communication(at)gci(dot)ch

Blerim Mustafa
Communication consultant
Telephone: +41 79 818 13 99
Email: blerim.mustafa(at)leidar(dot)com

Follow Green Cross International on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

About Green Cross International (GCI):
GCI was founded in 1993 by Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev and is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization advocating and working globally to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and conducts on-the-ground projects in more than 30 countries around the world.

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Carole Apotheloz