Several weeks ago, we had a huge fire at J.A.C.K., a criminal act aimed to harm our sanctuary.
Yes, just before the arsonist(s) set fire, he (they?) intentionaly broke the main water pipe of J.A.C.K. twice ( the pipe that provides the whole centre with water) to be sure the team won’t be able to put out the fire with buckets.
The fire started at 3 a.m. on September 7th at our brand new education centre. Because of the dryness of the season, the flames spread very fast and we were extremely lucky the wind wasn’t blowing as the arson would have reached the night quarters of our main group and kill its 22 residents. We have had luck in our bad luck: no humans, nos chimps, no bushbabies suffered from the arson and although there was no water at the taps, buckets of water were taken from a small river close to the education centre.
Huge branches of very fresh leaves also helped stop the flames – at about 7 a.m. the fire was totally under control. Two of our education huts have been destroyed and the surrounding little forest we have at J.A.C.K. partly burnt down. Authorities and police were called on post to evaluate damage and to start investigation. There are still no answers on who the arsonist is/are? and for what reason someone (people?) want to harm J.A.C.K., its borders, its sanctuary, its action…. Since the arson, J.A.C.K. is now hiring two armed ICCN rangers from DRC national parks in order to provide security at the sanctuary.
Franck and I were completely down : such event was a very hard since it reminded us of JAK and TOUZO who left us in a criminal fire exactly 7 years ago (Sept. 5th, 2006!) Strange coïncidence!
We contacted our main partners as well as the sponsors of our education centre to tell them the sad story and we deeply thank the PASA commitee for its promptness in providing urgent aid for the sanctuary to rebuild its education centre. We also thank IPPL for having started a campain to collect funds to bring financial support to J.A.C.K.
We wish to thank Su and Greg too for their quick response in finding solutions to help face these terrible event and we won’t forget the immediate intervention of 5 good friends of J.A.C.K. living in Lubumbashi who gave a hand that day in cleaning the site and in assisting our team at the kitchen to give our borders somethng like a ‘normal’ day after that tough and stresful night! Thank you Fabienne & Mirko, Sandrine, Anne and Lorenzo! J.A.C.K. really appreciated the work and the wonderful things you achieved this day in particular!!!
Of course we will keep you updated on the reconstruction of the education site and we will let you know should results come out of the investigation that is going on.
Roxane & Franck/ J.A.C.K.