Bolivia-Ghana: The Acqua for Life Challenge is improving the lives of thousands of people in Ghana and Bolivia, according to Green Cross staff in both countries.

“It is undeniable that providing alternative systems of water supply to remote communities has a high impact in terms of lower costs and improved health for people,” said Faride Tirado, vice president of Green Cross Bolivia (pictured left).

“The Acqua For Life project in Bolivia is a success. In remote communities, where people, mainly children, live in precarious conditions and with high rates of disease, having a water source that can guarantee their welfare is extremely valuable.”

Faride said Green Cross Bolivia’s partnership with Giorgio Armani, a first in 2012, was a “great experience.”

“Besides implementing hand pumps for groundwater catchment sources, it has strengthened our ability to better solve the problem of water shortage in Bolivia,” Faride said. “Families, children and local authorities have sent us their thanks. None of this could have been possible without the invaluable support of Mr. Giorgio Armani.”

Access to drinking water is a major global challenge. Close to 800 million people worldwide lack safe drinking water, and children suffer the most, with approximately 4,000 dying daily from water-related disease.

In Bolivia, South America’s poorest country, one-third of rural populations had no access to safe water in 2010. In extremely isolated communities, such as those in Santa Cruz Province that were selected for the Acqua for Life Challenge, public reservoirs are over 50 km from villages, which often forces people to use and drink water unfit for consumption.

The problem is particularly critical in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana, 40% of rural populations have no access to safe drinking water.

Green Cross Ghana President Mubarick Masawudu (pictured left) began working with the Armani Acqua for Life Challenge in 2011.

“Again in 2012, the Acqua For Life Challenge has proven that solutions to problems facing vulnerable communities in Ghana, such as water scarcity,” Mubarick said. “Building on the launch in 2011, this year’s challenge has ensured the expansion of the initiative to include more needy rural communities in Ghana.”

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