Despite the current political and economical predicament in Italy, Italians are still donating generously to important causes. As announced a few months ago, Mediaset, one of the Italian’s private TV companies, launched a fund-raising campaign to finance different water-related projects in poor countries. GC Italy proposed to finance the digging of wells in the semi-desert region of Yatenga in northern Burkina Faso.
The lack of access to safe drinking water is the single most responsible factor of infant mortality and morbidity in the world. Today, 5 million people die every year from preventable, water-related diseases. In Burkina Faso alone, 40% of the population still has no access to water resources and 87% do not have adequate sanitation infrastructure. Establishing water access points throughout the Yatenga region will significantly improve the living conditions of the inhabitants living in one of the driest areas in the world.
The outcome of the fund-raising campaign has exceeded initial expectations and will now include more villages for the project foreseen at the beginning of March. By September, the campaign raised enough capital to extend the project to more than 14 villages. The project began in November 2007 and will continue for 20 months. Crucial water access points will be established in 14 villages amounting to 21 wells and 14 latrines leaving nearly 15,000 benefiting from this international effort. Green Cross Italy and Green Cross Burkina Faso are working in partnership to optimize results on the ground. GC Burkina Faso is benefiting from fund raising activities and hired 10 full time experts, including a manager, technicians and field workers, as well as equipment for its national office. The recently opened GC Burkina Faso office in Ouahigouya will be supported with the help of GC Italy for 20 months and eventually serve as a focal point for future projects in the area.
GC Burkina Faso has implemented numerous projects with strong outcome due to the active involvement of local populations and authorities, demonstrating strong potential for the long-term success of projects and contribute to the local economy.