This man drives for hours and miles daily so that he will do the most amazing thing to help the wild animals. The wild animals that are a part of Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park, have a hero. Their hero is also known as Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua or as the waterman. Once he rumbles down the dusty road with those 3,000 gallons of fresh water the animals come running to him. The elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras… All of them get excited about the water. They are even able to recognize the waterman by the rumble of his engine and by his lifesaving cargo!
“There is completely no water, so the animals are depending on humans. If we don’t help them, they will die.” – says Mwalua.
Mwalua drives for hours every day so that he will fill the dry watering holes in this region, where it is most needed. The holes which are lined with some concrete, usually need cleaning. “The buffaloes love to roll in the mud so they suffocate the fleas and ticks,” he says.
“It is now very dry in Tsavo and water has become a very precious commodity because there is a shortage of water due to lack of rain. We are not expecting any rain until November and this has got us all very worried about losing many animals from antelopes to elephants if nothing is done very urgently,” says Mwalua.
How did his mission start?
Mwalua is a pea farmer in his local village. Once he saw himself what the climate change is doing, he immediately came up with this idea. “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,'” says the animal hero, also known as the waterman.
Last year, Mwalua rented a truck so that he will bring water to several locations in Tsavo West. Now, his mission extended so that he has several trucks. All of this keeps him on the dusty roads for hours and hours each day, while he drives gallons of water to the wild animals. He truly is something that people should look after, he is a true hero!
Pictures credit: Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua