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Ngamba Island


Conservation benefit: Support for chimpanzee protection efforts

Community benefit: Solar-powered refrigerator for medicines for the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Date Approved: 07.2010


This project protects freshwater habitat around a river or lake.

Ngamba Island is a freshwater island, located in Uganda’s Lake Victoria. The lake, at 26,600 square miles, is Africa’s largest. It is also the world’s largest tropical lake and the world’s second-largest freshwater lake.

Since 1998, the island has been home to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. About 50 chimpanzees, rescued animals that cannot return to the wild, live there. Chimpanzees originally lived in the forests of more than 25 countries in Equatorial Africa (including Uganda), but are now extinct in four of them. Fewer than 150,000 chimpanzees are estimated to remain in the wild. The myriad threats to chimpanzees include habitat loss, poaching for commercial bushmeat and the exotic pet trade, infectious diseases, and armed conflict.

The Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), which operates this important sanctuary, is a leader in the conservation of chimpanzees. This locally run organization raises public awareness of chimpanzee conservation and engages with communities living alongside chimpanzee populations. It also educates approximately 200 visitors to the island each month. A Seacology grant will fund a solar-powered refrigerator to hold medicines for chimpanzees at the sanctuary.

Project Updates

January 2011

The solar powered fridge was purchased and installed at the Sanctuary in August 2010. It is a 200L capacity, 80W, double door fridge-freezer, powered by three(3) 200AH maintenance free batteries and a 700W pure sine wave inverter. The batteries are charged by solar energy supplied through a 30A charge controller and four 75W solar panels on the roof of the veterinary clinic on Ngamba Island. The fridge has been installed in the clinic laboratory where it will be most useful in the storage and processing of samples.

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