Giorgio Armani, GCI announce fifth successive year of Acqua for Life campaign

Giorgio Armani and Green Cross International announced their fifth successive year of partnership with the Acqua for Life campaign in support of communities living in water poverty. In 2015, they will sponsor new developments in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, China, Bolivia, Mexico, and Argentina.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 23, 2015 -- Giorgio Armani and Green Cross International (GCI) recently announced their fifth successive year of partnership with the Acqua for Life (AFL) campaign in support of communities living in water poverty. In 2015, the organizations will sponsor new developments in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, China, Bolivia, Mexico, and -- for the first time -- Argentina.

These regions will join around 80 communities across the world already benefiting from clean water thanks to existing AFL projects. Launched in 2011, the goal of the campaign is to support the development of advanced and innovative water systems in these new communities. The first AFL initiative in Argentina will focus on the Chubut Province of Patagonia, a region stricken with poverty and a harsh climate.

A 300-meter-deep water well will be built in a community near the village of Gastre to secure the local water supply and irrigate a greenhouse facility growing fruits and vegetables all year round. The lack of affordable fruits and vegetables has been a leading cause of nutritional disorders in the region. This transformative investment would be impossible without support from the AFL campaign.

In 2015, GCI will also use AFL contributions to support new infrastructure developments in Africa (Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal), China and elsewhere in Latin America (Bolivia and Mexico). The campaign has been brought to new countries in three continents since 2011 (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, China, Sri Lanka, Bolivia and Mexico).

GCI and Armani will continue to raise awareness of water poverty in developed and water-rich countries throughout 2015, while carrying out concrete "on-the-ground" projects to supply deprived communities with secure, safe and sustainable water. GCI provides millions of liters of safe water each year by building wells, rainwater harvesting systems, boreholes, and water pumps.

Armani is convinced that access to clean water is a human right. Lack of water not only puts people's lives at risk but also severely limits their access to education and development. Armani has committed the strength of his brand and of his two fragrances associated with water -- Acqua di Gio and Acqua di Gioia -- to helping spread the word about the need to take action on a global scale to tackle this issue. The AFL initiative raises awareness of the preciousness of water and of the need to help hundreds of millions of people who lack safe drinking water.

Africa

AFL was expanded to Ivory Coast in 2014. Ghana has benefitted most from the initiative so far, with 90 water supply systems built in over 30 communities since 2011. But much still remains to be done in the West African country, as barely half of the population living in rural Ghana has access to water.

In 2015, projects will be targeted at communities in one of the frontier areas between Ghana and Ivory Coast. As in previous years, water supply systems will be built for the communities. The projects, however, will also include awareness-raising among fishermen and workers in small mines of the widespread bad practices that endanger ecosystems and water safety for the entire population that relies on the Bia River.

AFL and GCI will also support Senegalese communities again in 2015. This year, four schools and about 4,000 pupils living in rural neighborhoods of the city of Thiès will see their schooling environment greatly improved with secure access to water for drinking and washing. Gender-specific latrines will also be constructed. GCI and Armani hope to drastically transform these children's daily lives, health and opportunities through these new facilities and a strong focus on girls' needs.

China

AFL will be brought to Yunnan, China, once again in 2015, helping the village of Taihe near China's boarder with Vietnam. Only 30 percent of Taihe's 2,200 inhabitants were benefitting from a piped water system before even this was severely damaged and stopped working. A third of the villagers live below the poverty line, some in extreme poverty. AFL will facilitate the repair of the water network and its expansion to all households in need of clean water access and foster ownership and sustainability of the new infrastructure through the establishment of a Village Water Management Committee.

Latin America

AFL projects started in the Cordillera Province of southwest Bolivia in 2012 and have already helped more than 30 communities with over 50 water supply systems. In 2015, AFL commitments will again be made to the people of Charagua (the township encompassing these remote villages). Water pumps and rainwater harvesting systems will be built in nine additional communities to supply households with more water.

For the third consecutive year, AFL initiatives will also be carried out in Mexico. Previous projects included the promotion of improved water quality and quantity at 10 schools in underprivileged communities of the state of Morelos. Children and parents were invited to participate in educational workshops, where they learned about water contamination, how to avoid waterborne diseases and how to purify water in their homes.

In 2015, four schools in two townships of the state of Morelos will benefit from similar activities and improvements, aiming to address these communities' water shortages and change the fact that underprivileged communities pay a higher price for their water than others.

Create awareness with the #1DayOn10Liters Challenge

To help spread the word about the preciousness of clean, safe water, AFL 2015 is challenging key bloggers and media and online personalities in different countries -- in the areas beauty, fashion and others -- to try to live on just 10 liters of water for one full day.

In most countries, people use an average of 100 liters of water every day -- but in some parts of the world, having just 10 liters is a luxury. This challenge will see a number of prominent people document their experience and educate their followers online about water poverty and the importance of having reliable access to clean water.

The #1DayOn10Liters Challenge launched on World Water Day 2015, held on Sunday, March 22. The challengers' experiences can be followed via the hashtags #1DayOn10liters, #Helpgivewater and #Acquaforlife and on the official website at www.acquaforlife.org.

See also:

"Clean water campaign to support projects in several new communities worldwide"

"Perfume for water campaign raises over 43 million liters of water for Ghana"


About Green Cross International


GCI is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organization founded in 1993 by Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev. The organization addresses the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation through global advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has a network of national organizations in 27 countries. For more information, visit www.gcint.org.

About GCI's Water for Life and Peace program

GCI's Water for Life and Peace program works to improve global water governance and promotes a rights-based approach to the sustainable and equitable use of freshwater resources. GCI uses advocacy, education and practical projects around the world to improve people's access to water and sanitation. The Smart Water for Green Schools project, supported by AFL, is GCI's flagship "on-the-ground" activity. It provides sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation to tens of thousands of people in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. For more information, visit www.gcint.org/water-for-life-and-peace.

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