Foundation works to assist remote villages

Todd Stoner, of Montoursville, recently left the corporate world and became part of a business he hopes will make a big difference globally.

Solar Water Foundation, Lemont, is reaching out to Third World countries where safe drinking water is hard to find.

“The main goal of it is to save lives,” said Stoner, who manages the Foundation.

In nations such as Haiti, millions of children die before the age of 5 simply because they don’t have access to clean water.

Solar Water Foundation, part of Sunbeam Innovations, has been established to raise money for water purification devices. The purification systems known as AquaLite Minis, can be located in remote villages in areas of the world where safe drinking water is not available.

Stoner, former vice president of sales and marketing at Lycoming Engines, Williamsport noted that rivers, lakes and streams and wells many people depend for drinking water are contaminated. By some estimates, 780 million people worldwide lack access to clean water. Each year, some 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases.

The AquaLite Mini, which filters out the bacteria and other pathogens, are easy to operate and maintain.

“It provides up to 720 gallons of water a day,” Stone said. “About 275 people can get (clean) water in a day.”

The people who need these don’t have the ability to pay for them, he added. That’s where Solar Water Foundation comes in.

Stoner is hoping that sponsors can step forward and contribute to the Foundation to get the water purification devices to the many places of the world lacking in safe drinking water.

Stoner said he was recently in Haiti and saw first-hand some of the living conditions of the residents. Most are poor and living in remote areas without electricity, good roads and other services most Americans take for granted.

“Something as basic as water you and I don’t ever think about,” he said.

Stoner said plans for now call for getting the devices to Haitians and well as residents of Cambodia and Guatemala.

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