Giorgio Armani’s Acqua for Life campaign has targeted two countries facing critical challenges when it comes to water and sanitation: Ghana and Bolivia.
The plight of the children living in water scarce communities in these countries has been at the heart of the campaign’s focus: each year of their lives, they miss thousands of hours of schooling because of the long trips to and from dirty water sources, such as ponds and animal-soiled brooks.
The aim of Acqua for Life is to develop infrastructure that provides sustainable supplies of safe drinking water to villages and directly from lender into schools, thereby improving schoolchildren’s sanitary conditions altogether.
Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, will be targeted for a second consecutive year, since 33% of the rural population has no secured access to a safe drinking water source. In 2012, the region chosen for Acqua for Life’s attention was the upper Izozog located in the Charagua Municipality, in the Cordillera Province of Santa Cruz. This year, it is the Lower Izozog that is targeted as even further from the town. The whole area of the Cordillera Province of Santa Cruz suffers from a dry period that can last up to 8 months each year. Bolivian women and children usually collect water from public reservoirs, but in the Cordillera Province, there are no such reservoirs within 50 kilometres. Families often turn to animal-soiled brooks and childhood diarrhoea is the main source of death there.
The 2013 target is to build a rainwater harvesting system in each school, drilling a borehole in each community which will pump up water from aquifers of the Parapetí River basin, as well as providing health and hygiene education to the benefiting families.
Between 2012 and 2013, 27 communities in Charagua will be equipped thanks to the actions of Acqua for Life.
Acqua for Life will also continue in Ghana and focus on the shanty town of Kumasi, one of the biggest cities of the country.
Water covers 75% of the planet, but only 3% of this is fresh water and less than 1% is actually accessible to meet our essential needs. Almost 800 million people have no access to safe drinking water. Each day, 4,000 children die worldwide from preventable water-related diseases.
As a result of the Acqua for Life challenge, 52 million litres of drinking water were collected in 2012, overtaking the 43 million litres reached in 2011, bringing the total to 95 million litres provided to Ghana and Bolivia. In Bolivia, a total of 9 boreholes and 7 rainwater harvesting systems were built in 12 isolated Bolivian villages and the construction of boreholes, hand-dug wells and rainwater harvesting systems is being completed in 12 communities in Ghana. This equipment will provide safe drinking water for about 15 years.
Two Armani fragrances, inherently in harmony with the theme of water, have been intimately involved in the campaign process: Acqua di Giò and Acqua di Gioia. In 6 months (3 months in 2011 and 3 months in 2012), with every purchase of either of the two fragrances, Giorgio Armani donated the equivalent of 100 litres of water to GCI. The project also had an Internet focus: with each new “fan” of the Acqua for Life Facebook page, 50 litres of water were automatically donated to the Smart Water for Green Schools project.
Through the online Acqua for Life Challenge platform, the campaign and how the results are progressing will be presented. It will also detail the concrete actions undertaken – drilling, wells, construction of rainwater collection systems, etc.