Virunga National Park Ends 2015 With A Energy Milestone

Virunga National park is still beaming with pride after celebrating a major milestone in the development of the Virunga Alliance.

Kabila and workforce relaxed

H.E President Joseph Kabila Kabange celebrates the inauguration of the 13.6 MW Matebe hydroelectric plant with the workforce responsible for the plant’s completion. 

Last week, His Excellency President Joesph Kabila Kabange, as well as seven Congolese Cabinet Ministers, long-standing supporters of the Virunga Alliance -including the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), the European  Union and Virunga Foundation – and dignitaries from the US, UK and Belgian governments, joined Virunga National Park to celebrate its strong commitment to clean, sustainable development through the park’s public-private initiative, the Virunga Alliance.

Cutting the ribbon at Matebe hydroelectric plant's inauguration.

With the cut of a ribbon and a flick of a switch, H.E President Joseph Kabila Kabange instantly provided electricity to tens of thousands of people in eastern Congo for the very first time. 

Matebe and Mutwanga hydroelectric plants can already boast having the best potential impact on the quality of life for communities in the region; but in true Congolese fashion, this is just the beginning. Virunga National Park will continue to build its future thanks to a further pledge of commitment from our long-standing supporters, the European Union and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, toward the projected costs for two new hydroelectric plants in North Kivu.

Rumangabo, Virunga National Park

Representatives from the European Union joined key staff at Virunga National Park’s headquarters in Rumangabo to pledge commitment towards the next stages of the Virunga Alliance program.

Howard G Buffett and Emmanuel de Merode

In addition to pledging more to the completion of two new hydroelectric plants, Howard G Buffett also celebrated a very special day with us indeed – his birthday!

Repeating the words of our Director, Emmanuel de Merode, we reflect again on the significance of this milestone, not only for Virunga National Park, but also the for all conflict areas around the world;

“Having overcome the difficulties of delivering on a project of this scale in just two years, we have proven that projects like Matebe can be built in Congo to the same standards as anywhere in the world. Derived from our commitment to a clean economy and peace building in a conflict area, this project was achieved using Congolese resources and overcame every restriction of that conflict. I sincerely congratulate the resourcefulness, courage and determination of my Congolese colleagues.”

See more photographs from the inauguration here.

In the midst of our excitement, we would also like to thank each and every one of you whose individual support for Virunga in this and previous years has contributed so valuably to sustaining the park. In this vein, please don’t forget about our #FestiveVirunga fundraiser for the rangers this year.

For just 2 more days, every dollar you give to the park will be tripled by a private donor. This generous donor has agreed to give $30,000 USD in matching funds, so please help us make the most of our matching challenge.

Matching Challenge #FestiveVirunga

The #FestiveVirunga holiday spirit is definitely in the air. If you are one of the people that have recently donated to support our rangers, thank you!

 As well as tripling your donation, you can also gift your donation to a special someone with our brand new Virunga National Park e-card.

So please, show your support for Virunga’s rangers by making an online donation or by sharing our suggested #FestiveVirunga posts on Twitter or Facebook;

Click here to share on Twitter:

Until the 24th your donation to @gorillacd will be tripled! Give the gift of conservation to #Virunga’s rangers at 

Click here to share this text on Facebook:

Having trouble choosing a gift for someone special? We think that Virunga National Park has the answer with its brand new donation e-card. 

Until the 24th, every donation you make to support the rangers of Virunga will be tripled by a private donor. So, give the gift of conservation this year and make the holiday season even more meaningful!

Get started at #FestiveVirunga

Thanks for reading our newsletter and have a very happy #FestiveVirunga


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