A partnership among SolarWorld,
a large solar manufacturer in the United States and Europe, and nonprofit partners Rotary International and Water Missions International (WMI), has helped a total of 35,000 people in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean gain access to clean, safe drinking water.
At the close of 2013, SolarWorld, Rotary International, a global network of humanitarian volunteers, and WMI, a water-engineering nonprofit, celebrated installation of 25 solar-powered, community-based water-purification systems in Haiti, the Peruvian Amazon and Malawi. The three organizations share a chief humanitarian goal of promoting water quality to enhance the health, quality of life and economic status of the world’s poorest people.
In the systems, high-performance solar panels donated by SolarWorld power submersible water pumps provided by Grundfos, the world’s pump-technology leader and a strategic partner of WMI. At each site, WMI’s engineers combined SolarWorld panels in treatment systems capable of supplying water needs of thousands of people. As another strategic partner of WMI, SolarWorld has for years donated and discounted its solar technology for deployment through the nonprofit’s programs in the developing world.
SolarWorld and WMI teamed with various local Rotary clubs in the United States, Peru, Haiti and Malawi to provide systems. In Peru, for example, the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., led a fund-raising effort that, in combination with a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, garnered over $300,000 for water and sanitation projects in Peru.
Since 2012, the three organizations have implemented nine solar-powered water-treatment systems in Peru, many in remote communities in the Amazon River basin, and two systems in Bayonnais, Haiti. Sixteen systems in rural Malawi came online about the same time. Without such systems, these communities would continue to suffer high rates of water-borne disease and childhood mortality that attend parasite-bearing and otherwise contaminated water supplies.