Since June 2018, the Tsavo West National Park in Kenya has been suffering from a severe drought. The many species of animals there would have perished if not for the kindness of one man.
Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua, a pea farmer, is keeping the animals alive by delivering thousands of liters of water to them every day.
“It was in June last year when visiting the Tsavo that I noticed that the waterholes were dry and animals were sitting around them looking very desperate,” Mwalua told Nairobi Wire.
“There is completely no water, so the animals are depending on humans,” Mwalua told The Dodo. “If we don’t help them, they will die.”
Every day, he drives for miles along the dusty roads, carrying nearly 3,000 gallons (approx. 11,356 liters) of water in his truck. Animals come rushing towards him as soon as they hear the sound of the truck.
They know that he will be filling up those bone-dry waterholes.
“Last night, I found 500 buffalo waiting at the water hole,” Mwalua said. “When I arrived, they could smell the water. The buffalo were so keen and coming close to us. They started drinking while I was standing there. They get so excited.”
Mwalua has set up a GoFundMe page where people can get to know about his noble mission and contribute funds towards saving the animals.
In order to save the precious water from seeping into the earth, he has also coordinated efforts to build gravel-lined water holes.
What started off with one truck soon expanded to several, and Mwalua is now able to fill water in more locations across the African savannah. He simply doesn’t want any animal to die of thirst, not under his watch!
And his wonderful act of compassion hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Angie Brown, Cher Callaway, and Tami Calliope, three women from the United States, teamed up with Mwalua to keep his mission going.
Callaway, who has worked with Mwalua on several projects, is full of praise for the latter, whom the locals call “The Water Man.”
“His commitment to the wildlife and his heritage is unmeasurable,” Callaway said. “Even risking his own life in the middle of the night to deliver water to a dry water hole.”
Mwalua also runs a conservation project called Tsavo Volunteers. He visits schools to educate children on the importance of wildlife and conservation.
“I was born around here and grew up with wildlife and got a lot of passion about wildlife,” he said. “I decided to bring awareness to this so when they grow up they can protect their wildlife.”
The animals of Tsavo West National Park will forever be indebted to Mwalua. By taking the matter into his own hands, he has proven to be a savior indeed.
It is also heartening to note that there are people out there whose care and concern for nature is so deep. Nature sustains all lives, and if we humans don’t strive to live in harmony, the ramifications will be huge.