Dear Sollatek team,

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee is pleased to inform you that the two Glowstar GS5 solar lantern kits you donated to be used at the Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo, have been delivered and are being used.

The first Glowstar was donated to the Etate patrol post within the park. Sixty percent of the park guards are illiterate, and this limits their possibilities to gather and write down patrol information, to file patrol reports, to increase their level of functioning, and to communicate with their families. For these reasons, we have set up adult literacy classes at the Etate patrol post as an initial test case. We have hired a teacher, constructed a blackboard, and provided notebooks, ballpoints, pencils, chalk and teaching manuals [basic Lingala, French and Mathematics]. As the classes are mostly given in the evenings, after duty hours, the Glowstar is indispensible. Thanks to the use of this solar lantern, the guards will be able to follow further training and assure an income for themselves and their families in this remote area.

The second Glowstar was donated to the Watsi Kengo station, which controls almost 25% of the 36000km2 park. Verifying the functioning of several patrol posts, planning guard interventions, proofing reports and communicating with the government authorities are some of the station's tasks. While the more practical issues are handled during the day, the evenings serve to fulfil the administrative duties. In the past, this was only possible with hurricane lamps, provided that petrol was available. From now on, clear lighting is available at any time, and this will undoubtedly increase the effectiveness of this station's operations.

Needless to say that the conservator of the station and the park guards from Watsi Kengo and Etate are very grateful for receiving these great Glowstar lanterns. During ZSM's stay in the Salonga, the lanterns functioned very well, despite the harsh climate in the central African rainforest. They are very practical and easy to use; the charge level indicators and the 'low charge level light flickering' clearly indicate when a lamp should be switched off. Also, the solar panels do a great job in loading the lamps' batteries.

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee wishes to thank the Sollatek team for this donation! The enclosed pictures demonstrate that the solar lanterns have been put to good use and assist in the conservation of biodiversity in the central Congo basin!

Best wishes,


Field Sites Coordinator - Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative
Zoological Society of Milwaukee County