The recent 10,000 USD donation from Orangutan Conservancy was put to good use at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) Quarantine and Rehabilitation Centre at Sibolangit, North Sumatra province, and Jantho Reintroduction Programme at Jantho Nature Reserve, Aceh, province Indonesia.
With the remoteness of the Quarantine and Rehabilitation Centre and general absence of external waste management services in Indonesia, until now non-organic rubbish was burned on-site in a concrete trough. However, with support from OC we were able to construct an incinerator. In order to reduce costs, we decided to build one of our own design, with the aid of a contractor that has long assisted us in orangutan cage and facility construction, rather than purchasing a readymade commercial unit. We are very pleased with this development, which greatly help improve hygiene and sanitation conditions, allowing us to provide the best possible care to the orangutans under our care.
In Jantho we needed a replacement small boat/canoe, used to cross the river dividing the field station from the orangutan reintroduction area. After a number of repairs, the previous unit was leaking in too many places, so it was simply time to replace it! The Post Release Monitoring staff in Jantho who leave the camp early in the morning before sunrise to follow the orangutans now have a safe means of crossing.
The recent donation also enabled us to replace and build out our field equipment stock. Our monitoring staff take location coordinates of the orangutans throughout the day with GPS units, and also use these for navigation throughout the Reserve. However, a number of our units were not working, even after repairs were attempted, so we purchased 5 new Garmin receivers. Further, previously we were using standard AA batteries for GPS and radio units, necessitating regular replacement. This was of course less than ideal for the environment, and also financially, so switching to rechargeable batteries reduces waste and in the long-term, costs.
Lastly, as we were able to greatly reduce costs for the incinerator from the initial estimate, we used the difference to secure a few additional items. First, our resident field veterinarian, Dr. Pandu, is based full-time at the Jantho Station, so that he can assist in monitoring the health of the orangutan population, and quickly respond to any instances requiring medical intervention. As such he needed a dedicated camera to document observations in the forest, so that the standard monitoring team could continue their tasks (including photography) throughout each day, and Dr. Pandu his. We therefore purchased one waterproof pocket camera for veterinary care purposes. Second, we also purchased 20 new rucksacks for our orangutan post-release monitoring team at Jantho. Third, the kitchen and visitor reception area at the Quarantine Center needed renovation, as it was aging and suffering from termite damage. With OC support we were able to replace the wooden support beams and sidings, so that everything is safe and presentable. Fourth, we used a small portion of the donation to cover some remaining costs for SOCP Senior Veterinarian Dr. Yenny to join the Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group (OVAG) meeting in Banda Aceh this year. Lastly, with the currency exchange rate from USD-IDR becoming more favorable, we applied the remaining balance towards purchasing food for the rehabilitant orangutans at the Quarantine Centre. Many thanks to Orangutan Conservancy to enable us to provide better wildlife management at both sites, and through this support we work hand in hand to conserve orangutans in Sumatra!