Pentair, a global provider of water flow and filtration solutions, including valve and pump manufacturing, has joined with Coca-Cola Co. to bring the first “ekocenter” offering filtered water and solar-powered charging stations to a rural village in Rwanda. Pentair, which is based in England but largely managed from Golden Valley, Minnesota, USA, has up to 50 employees in Kenya and Nigeria who fly in to service various projects in Rwanda, including this new philanthropic mission that involves two filtration systems worth roughly $10,000 each.
The ekocenter creates “a sustainable economic model to ensure we have a lasting impact,” said Pentair CEO Randy Hogan. “The idea is to create a community center of sorts.” Pentair donated two water purification systems to clean the village’s well water. The result is water that exceeds standards set by the World Health Organization, the company said.
Alice Mukeshimana and Jeannette Mwiza are two Rwandan entrepreneurs who have been trained by Pentair to help maintain water filtration equipment in their village’s new “Ekocenter.” Coca-Cola started the Ekocenter model, which also provides solar power and Internet services, as a way to start micro-enterprise businesses in developing countries.