Pasa Approves Emergency Funds To Help Lwiro Primate Sanctuary During Drc Conflict

26th November 2012

A main water pipe running through Lwiro’s chimpanzee sanctuary supplies water to the whole of Lwiro village.  On Monday November 19, this pipe exploded and left the entire village without water.  Lwiro made repairs to the main pipe but it is leaking again and must be replaced to ensure the water supply.  As the rebel forces move towards Bukavu and Lwiro village, Lwiro needed urgent assistance to ensure the pipe could be fixed and water restored to the sanctuary and neighboring village.

“Because of the war in the Kivu region at the moment, tensions are high amongst the people living in the area, including within the Lwiro village,” said Carmen Vidal, Lwiro Director.  “Any problem that is associated with the sanctuary damages our relationship with the village and makes us a potential target for any outbreak of this tension.”

“It’s critically important that the local village have regular water access as soon as possible, since the current conflict in the Kivu region makes it unsafe for villagers to travel elsewhere to get water,” commented Julie Sherman, PASA Executive Director.  “Ongoing water outages from the broken pipe will damage Lwiro’s relationship with the people of the village, and could result in the sanctuary animals, staff or property being a target of civil unrest.”

PASA’s emergency fund, known as the Crisis Response Fund, provides immediate financial assistance for member sanctuaries to address urgent issues concerning the health and welfare of primates, including armed conflict, disease outbreak, or natural disasters.  The Fund is supported by the Swedish Chimpanzee Trust and other donors.

PASA works to halt the illegal poaching and trade in African primates; ensure the highest standard of care for primates in its 22 member sanctuaries across Africa; and collaborate with governments and local communities to protect wild primates and their habitat.  Learn more at