LUCI LIGHT Project
Shed Light On APES LIKE US
GLOBIO, through our Apes Like Us project, has partnered with Mpowerd and their amazing LUCI, an inflatable go-anywhere solar light, to shed light on the over two billion people around the planet who live in and around apes and still survive without reliable access to electricity.
Lightweight, easy to carry, and lighting up the darkness for upto 17 hours on a single charge, LUCI light is clean, safe, waterproof, and affordable way to shed light in the world.
In the Equatorial tropics as soon as the sun goes down life darkens — children can no longer study, sanctuary staff stop working, veterinarian and health clinics close, village children and women are less safe, the list goes on. Kerosene lamps and charcoal burders are the most common solution — but they can be dangerous, toxic and expensive. Batteries end up buried in the ground, leaching corrosives and poisons.
You Can Donate a LUCI
You Can Help Spread The Light. GLOBIO’s goal through our Apes Like Us is to put 1,500 LUCI lights in six pilot sites in 2018. We need your help to spread the light. You, your family, your organization can ensure light shines in classrooms, vet clinics, villages and in the field. It’s simple. Donate one, two, or as many lights as you can. When Gerry Ellis is filming in our pilot-partner sanctuaries your lights will be delivered.
Beginning in April 2018 we are connecting classrooms to share some light – LUCI light. If your classroom is interested in helping donate lights to a classroom in and around ape sanctuaries and conservation areas we are working with, please contact us for details.
Donated LUCI Lights (above) helping shed some light on a delicate surgery in a chimpanzee enclosure at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone.
You have no idea what a powerful thing this [Luci] is, for us, this can really change things.Fanny Minesi
- Value of LUCI in Sanctuaries
Sanctuaries have multiple uses for light in places they have no lights, such as food storage rooms, supply storage rooms, night enclosures, and moving about the sanctuary for security checks and maintenance. Sanctuaries are limited in many cases to 2-4 hours of noisy generator power per day. Generators are problematic and break down regularly; they are typically powered by costly/polluting diesel. LUCI lights provide a valuable portable light source reducing generator running cost and need. Ironically we could see LUCI lights illuminating workers trying to fix generators.
- Value of LUCI in Education
One of the more obvious application is in education for the schools and villages surrounding the ape sanctuaries and conservation areas. Just as the sanctuaries are restricted by generators and solar for their restricted power use – so too the schools/villages surrounding them, even more so. Lights also play a huge role in classrooms during the day. Most of these classrooms are not lit by anything but limited natural light. LUCIs play a key role in lighting the schools. In the homes of student light is principally kerosene lamps, wood and charcoal fires – all of these have negative health and environmental impacts. Charcoal in particular not only emits unhealthy soot, but causes tremendous forest damage. Deforestation and forest fragmentation, due to charcoal making, is at record levels of damage throughout the world, and especially acute in the Equatorial tropics where great apes live, and over 2 billion people struggle to survive. Kerosene, wood, and charcoal indoors also present a fire hazard.
- Value of LUCI to Veterinarians and Clinic (health)
Most of the veterinarian clinic are located on the sanctuary grounds and as such are limited in their power use to generators and occasionally solar panels. This makes work during early morning and late evening hours complicated. LUCI lights play a significant role in vets being able to keep up-to-date on paperwork and files, pre-mixing medications, and dealing with emergency situations. The portability of LUCI lights also enables them to do work in areas and enclosures previously not possible or extremely awkward do to poor ambient lighting – such as a medical procedure in an ape enclosure where a patient can not be moved to the clinic. Additionally, many of these vet clinics are the only functional health facility to attend lacerations, malaria, infections, etc. as a consequence, while not a human doctor many ape vets need to function as the defacto health person.
- Value of LUCI in Field Conservation
Tropical field conservation is primarily done during the daylight, 6am to 6pm, but research, data analysis, community relations, writing up results, etc, is done in non-daylight hours in locations with extremely limited artificial light sources – generally kerosene lamps, battery powered headlamps and lights. The negative impacts of these light sources is in what is often left behind — batteries. Because field research sites often involve long treks, into remote locations, weight can be a critical consideration. LUCIs 4.4 ounces make them ideal for equipping field staff. Additionally, their portability and weather proofing makes them an all-weather solution. They can be attached to backpacks and be charging during treks into research areas, and can be left in camp to charge without fear of sudden tropical storms damaging them. LUCIs are also perfect for water travel and emergency evacuation.