Patrick Mwalua spends his evenings driving water 70 km to thirsty zebras, elephants and buffalo in drought-stricken Kenya.
Generous pea farmer regularly delivers 3,000 gallons of water in a rented truck to wildlife
Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua works as a pea farmer in a local Kenyan village during the day, but four evenings a week he drives for hours, and at his own personal cost, to deliver 12,000 litres (3000 gallons) of fresh water for thirsty buffalo, elephants, zebras and antelope in Kenya’s parched Tsavo West National Park.
They’ve come to know the water man by the rumble of his engine
In a land as parched as Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park, no visitor arrives with more fanfare than the water man.
That would be Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua. And when he rumbles down the dusty road bearing some 3,000 gallons of fresh water, the elephants, buffalo, antelope and zebras come running.
They’ve come to know the water man by the rumble of his engine. And his lifesaving cargo.
"There is completely no water, so the animals are depending on humans," Mwalua told Christian Cotroneo for The Dodo. "If we don’t help them, they will die."
Mwalua fills the bone-dry watering holes in the region, driving for hours on end every day to haul water to where it’s most desperately needed.
The holes themselves, lined with concrete, often need cleaning – Mwalua blames it on buffalo droppings – and sometimes, he will just hose down an area of cracked earth for the grateful animals.
"The buffalo roll in the mud so they suffocate the fleas and ticks," he says.
“The GoFundMe campaign has been a real success but he needs so much more money…”
Last year, Mwalua started renting a truck and driving water to several locations in Tsavo West. His mission would extend to several trucks, keeping him on the road for hours every day as he drives dozens of hard miles between stops.
"The truck is heavy and doesn’t go very fast," he says. "We have to be very patient and go deliver water."
Donate now to the Elephant Guardian's GoFundMe campaign
The rains are not due until November. Each tanker of water costs $250USD. Every donation, no matter the size, is greatly appreciated and thank you for your support.