Virunga National Park
Installation completed: July, 2016
The Congo’s fabled Virunga National Park — Africa’s oldest national park — is home to about a quarter of the world’s few remaining mountain gorillas, two other species of great apes, and hundreds of other species from elephants and hippos to the endangered okapi. Protecting this 3,000-square-mile park, considered the most biodiverse protected area on the continent, is dangerous. About 150 rangers have been killed on duty.
For decades, rangers also had to deal with unreliable diesel generation for power, light and communications. In collaboration with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and GivePower Foundation, Empowered by Light installed three solar-powered micro-grids. The clean energy they produce supports the rangers’ conservation and protection work, while saving the park money on fuel costs.