A pilot EKOCENTER kiosk is in use in Heidelberg, South Africa. 

Coca-Cola Co. plans to bring at least 1,500 “downtowns in a box” to rural communities in 20 countries by 2015.

Working with partner organizations, the Atlanta-based beverage giant has helped developed the EKOCENTER kiosk, which is housed in a 20-foot shipping container and has the Slingshot water purification system at its core. 

The Slingshot, introduced by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, uses vapor distillation technology to purify even extremely contaminated water. It runs on one kilowatt of power and produces up to 225 gallons of clean water per day.

But the kiosks look to go far beyond providing 500 million liters of clean drinking water to 500,000 people per year. They also aim to meet commercial needs. Operated by newly trained female entrepreneurs, they are to include Wi-Fi Internet access, food, vaccine storage, Coca-Cola products and other resources. 

The initiative is to be funded through a partnership with other companies, non-profits and development agencies, said Yuquan Holloway, a project manager at Coca-Cola. 

They include IBM, Inter-American Development Bank, NRG, Qualcomm, McCann Health, United Parcel Service Inc.Technoserve and Deka R&D, Mr. Kamen’s firm.  

One EKOCENTER prototype has been installed in Heidelberg, South Africa, and includes the Slingshot system, a power source and commercial space. More resources are to be added soon. 

Learn more about the initiative through this infographic

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...

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