The Tchimpounga chimpanzee sanctuary in the Republic of Congo needs some help with solar power. Jane Goodall Institute, founded by renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, runs the sanctuary and wants to install new solar panels to power it reliably.
Home to 160 chimpanzees, Tchimpounga currently gets electricity to run lighting, veterinary medical equipment, administrative machinery, food storage, and even battery backups for the chimp safety fencing from a very old solar array. A primitive model, after years of wear and tear it’s not working well any more. Also, scientists now realize how unfriendly the gas-powered backup generator is to the environment, and fueling it wastes money that could otherwise be used to buy food, equipment, or medical supplies for the chimpanzees.
Many of the chimpanzees cared for at Tchimpounga are orphans, brought to the sanctuary through illegal international meat and pet commerce. When chimpanzee mothers are shot and killed for bushmeat, poachers often sell their infants to people who keep them as pets. With education and support of public law enforcement more and more of these young chimpanzees have been confiscated and brought to JGI. Every time a chimpanzee is rescued by JGI, it needs a lifetime of care. JGI is responsible for providing this.
The new array will include new solar panels and frames, new batteries, inverters and other equipment for storing the energy, and a small structure to house the equipment. JGI launched the campaign a little while ago to obtain these solar panels through the global crowdfunding platform Pozible. It is the dominant platform in the Asia-Pacific region, with overall project success rate currently at 56% and some individual categories higher than 70%.
There are prizes from JGI for every donation level. Click here if you’d like to help the chimps.