Iconic photographer Viviane Sassen creates striking gallery for WaterAid and Giorgio Armani’s Acqua for Life partnership

22 March 2019
A photo taken in Madagascar by fashion photographer Viviane Sassen for Giorgio Armani's Acqua for Life partnership with WaterAid
Image: WaterAid/ Viviane Sassen

Download photos
View film

This World Water Day, WaterAid and Giorgio Armani’s Acqua for Life initiative are launching a set of striking new photos from Madagascar by award-winning photographer Viviane Sassen.

Around the world, a staggering 844 million – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home. This has a devastating impact on health and education, with up to 443 million school days lost every year because of water-related illnesses. 

Giorgio Armani’s Acqua for Life partnership with WaterAid is helping tackle this global crisis by funding the provision of clean water and decent sanitation in schools, communities and health centres in Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar.

In Madagascar, WaterAid is working in the Manjakandriana district to build a new water pipeline, which will help reach 5,300 more people with clean water. When clean water is easily available, mothers can give birth safely, children can go to school and fulfil their potential, and parents can work to support themselves and their families.

Alongside the photos, Giorgio Armani’s Acqua for Life is also launching a powerful film created by Viviane Sassen, which brings to life the story of clean water and celebrates the lives of those she met in Madagascar.

Giorgio Armani said:

“Water is perhaps the element that I feel closest to. For me water represents life and regeneration, but also calmness and serenity. Access to clean water is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges in the 21st century.” 

Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive of WaterAid said:

“Around the world, one in nine people don’t have access to clean water close to home. So women and girls waste hours of their lives and education fetching water that often makes them sick. We are determined to end this injustice.

“But we can’t do it alone. Everyone has a part to play in bringing clean water to everyone and we are delighted to have the support of Armani in working to our vision where no-one has their health or future blighted just because they don’t have clean water, a decent toilet and good hygiene.”


Download photos: https://wateraid.assetbank-server.com/assetbank-wateraid/images/assetbox/1115f013-3481-4741-aea9-ed302b222084/assetbox.html

Download film: https://wateraid.assetbank-server.com/assetbank-wateraid/action/viewDownloadSharedAsset?download=6c795557706d644872774956703765314675643545773d3d

For more information, please contact: Anna France-Williams, Senior Media Officer, [email protected]
or +44 (0) 207 793 5048 or
Laura Crowley, PR Manager, [email protected]
or +44  (0) 207 793 4965

Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552
or email [email protected].

Notes to editors

Acqua for Life by Giorgio Armani
Acqua for Life is an initiative by Giorgio Armani that focuses on delivering universal access to drinking water in water-scarce regions. Since 2010, Acqua for Life has invested over 7.7 million euros in projects worldwide. Acqua for Life partners and sustains an ongoing conversation with three main partners worldwide: Unicef USA, Green Cross International and WaterAid. Acqua for Life takes a comprehensive approach to the issues of clean water, hygiene, sanitation, and education. The Acqua for Life initiative is threefold: the primary activity being the installation of water points and latrines, alongside rainwater collection, water filtering, and water purification systems in areas that lack water. 

Parallel to this first stage, the Acqua for Life program focuses on education and awareness concerning WASH behavior, to maximize the projects’ sustainability and long-term impact for the community. Finally, Acqua for Life projects are conceived in a sustainable way. During the projects’ implementation, people from the local community are trained to ensure they can maintain the activities. Each project features a maintenance budget to ensure its long-term sustainability, after the project is wrapped up. 

Viviane Sassen
Viviane Sassen is a Dutch artist living in Amsterdam. She is a photographer who works in both the fashion and fine art world and is known for her use of geometric shapes, often abstractions of bodies. Viviane Sassen lived in Kenya as a child and often works in Africa. 

Widely published, Sassen has created campaigns for various luxury brands. She was included in the 2011 New Photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has won the Dutch Prix de Rome (2007) and the Infinity Award from International Center of Photography. 

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 34 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org/uk follow @wateraid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.
•    844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.[1]
•    2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2] 
•    Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]
•    Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]
•    Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5] 
•    To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database www.WASHwatch.org  

[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines
[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines
[3] washwatch.org
[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage
[5] www.wateraid.org/uk