Man drives for hours everyday in drought to bring fresh water to wild animals in Kenya!
In Tsavo West National Park, Kenya Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua is the water man. Everyday this man drives for hours and miles to bring the wild animals some fresh water. When he rumbles down that dusty road bringing about 3,000 gallons of fresh water, the elephants, buffalo, antelope and also zebras come running to him. The animals even know the water man by the rumble of his engine and by his lifesaving cargo!
“There is completely no water out these, so the animals are depending on us humans,” Mwalua says. “If we don not help them, they will die for sure”.
Mwalua fills the dry watering holes in this region, driving for miles and hours every day to haul water to where it is most desperately needed. The holes themselves, lined with some concrete, usually need cleaning. Mwalua blames it on buffalo droppings, and sometimes, he will just hose down an area of cracked earth with water for the grateful animals. “The buffaloes love to roll in the mud so they suffocate the fleas and ticks,” he says.
Many animals do not even wait that long, fearlessly crowding his truck as Mwalua cranks the tap.”Last night, I over found 500 buffalo waiting at the water hole,” he says.
“When I arrived they could actually smell the water. “They even started drinking the water while I was still standing there”.
Mwalua is actually a pea farmer in his local village. He came up with this idea after seeing firsthand the grim toll climate change were doing. “We are not really getting the rain the way we used to,” he says. “From last year, from June, there was no rain at all. So I started giving the animals water because I thought, ‘If I do not do that, they will die for sure'”.
Between his road trips, Mwalua also runs a conservation project Tsavo Volunteers. This 41-year-old man also visits local schools to educate the children about the wildlife that is their legacy. “I was born around here and grew up with wildlife animals and I have a lot of passion about wildlife,” he says. “I decided to bring some awareness to them so when they grow up they can protect their wildlife too”.
Last year, Mwalua also started renting a truck and driving the water to several locations in Tsavo West. His mission would extend to him having several trucks now. This keeps him on the road for hours and hours every day. He drives dozens of hard miles between stops to deliver water to animals.