The Power Plants That May Save a Park, and Aid a Country; Amy Yee; The New York Times


DR Of Congo – Virunga National Park

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, Democratic Republic of Congo — On the verdant savanna of Virunga National Park, a herd of elephants clustered near an umbrella-shaped acacia tree to seek shelter from the blazing morning sun. From a Cessna far above, the giant animals looked like brown-gray miniatures.

Emmanuel de Merode, the director of Virunga National Park, piloted the plane. He wore a Virunga park ranger uniform and had his green beret tucked into the shoulder of his khaki shirt. Mr. de Merode flew over the dazzling 50-mile-long Lake Edward, then descended to a grassy airfield flanked by palm trees.

On this day, the flight was his commute. “It’s the best job in the world,” he said.

Mr. de Merode was visiting a small hydroelectric power plant — built more than four years ago with an investment from the European Union — that has lofty goals.

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