World Water Day is held annually on the 22nd of March and this year’s UN selected theme is “Clean Water for a Healthy World.” With over 1.1 billion people (around one sixth of the world’s population) in the world today lacking access to clean water and with less than 1% of the world’s freshwater being accessible for human use, Green Cross International (GCI) launched a project called ‘Smart Water for Green Schools’ earlier this month in Geneva, together with Pureology Serious Colour Care®. Read on to find out more about the project.
The African continent was chosen for the project because 2 out of 5 people in Africa live without adequate water supply for basic sanitation and hygiene. The building of reliable and long-lasting rainwater harvesting systems and ecological latrines in schools are cost effective and efficient means to secure water supplies and improve water sanitation for an entire school community.
The project is aimed at schools because providing water and sanitation services to schools is an important step to engage children and communities in improving their water security and maintaining their role as guardians of healthy and vital river ecosystems. This is good news, I believe if we want to change people’s behaviour and attitude on any issue, it is surely best to start with children, who are going to learn fast and are most likely to adopt and apply their knowledge and good habits for life. The first schools started the pilot phase in February 2010 in Ghana
with the aim of reaching 1,987 school children and 67 teachers in five
communities. Over the next 24 months the project seeks to expand to 40
schools in 4 river basins, specifically the La Plata, Volta, Mekong and
Jordan River Basins.
“The selected pilot beneficiary schools and communities are faced with waterborne diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea due to the lack of clean water. These diseases pose a serious threat to child enrolment in schools and their ability to receive basic education. 'Smart Water for Green Schools' will go a long way in helping address the water situation in schools and communities in Ghana and around the world where GCI is present. The support of Pureology is much needed and timely,” said Mubarick Masawudu, President and CEO of Green Cross Ghana.
Pureology said their salons will be educated on how to adopt habits to conserve water and will pass this message onto their clients. The first initiative ahead of World Water Day that Pureology and GCI have started is the fundraising campaign for Smart Water for Green Schools. A special edition of a Pureology-GCI water bottle will be available in select Pureology salons. This is especially important given that less than 20% of the world’s plastic water bottles are actually recycled. In the US it is estimated that over 100 million plastic bottles end up in rubbish bins or landfills every day.
"Every day should be world water day" said Green Cross France Chairman, Jean-Michel Cousteau. Green Cross national offices and Pureology are planning events around the world to highlight the importance of water conservation and the concept of celebrating World Water Day every day.
Link to the ‘Smart Water for Green Schools’ campaign site.