Every Day This Kenyan Man Delivers Drinking Water To Drought Affected Wildlife

Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua, a pea farmer from Kenya, has witnessed firsthand the effects of climate change on his homeland. Severe droughts have become a common occurrence and the native wildlife is dying because of it.

“We aren’t receiving ran the way we used to. From last year, from June, there was no rain completely,” he shared with The Dodo.

Instead of standing by and watching his country suffer, Kilonzo decided to do something about it. He set out to buy a water truck and deliver water to the dry watering holes of Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park.

Now known as “the water man,” Kilonzo regularly risks his own health, safety, and money to bring life-giving water to animals in the park’s drylands.

“I started giving animals water because I thought, ‘If I don’t do that they will die,’” he explained to The Dodo.

Driving up to 3,000 gallons of water in his truck at a time, Kilonzo drives around the desert and replenishes the popular watering holes. Each trip costs him around $250 and takes several hours.

“The truck is heavy and doesn’t go very fast,” he shared with The Dodo. But because of the dire situation, he continues to go.

He spoke of the urgency of the situation, recalling how the area lost several elephants, an endangered species, to drought years prior. “We are not expecting any rain until March and this has got us all very worried of loosing many animals from antelopes to elephants if nothing is done very urgently.”

Already, the elephants were suffering. He said, “We have many elephants concentrating in very few water holes fighting to drink water…we need to save the ones we have left by providing water for them until the drought peril is over.”

The animals have come to recognize “the water man” and come running when they hear his truck.

“Last night, I found 500 buffalo waiting at the water hole,” he said to The Dodo. “When I arrived they could smell the water. The buffalo were so keen and coming close to us. They started drinking water while I was standing there. They get so excited.”

Kilonzo cares deeply for the land and animals. He founded a non-profit conservation group called the Tsavo Volunteers and also shares his knowledge of conservation strategies and water management tips with local school children.

People from around the world are rallying behind Kilzono’s work and passion. A woman from the United States named Cher Callaway worked with him on a few projects before taking to social media to spread the news about his work. She saw the urgency in the situation and the impact he was having on the animals and started a GoFundMe to help support his work of delivering water.

“His commitment to the wildlife and his heritage is unmeasurable,” Callaway said to The Dodo. “Even risking his own life in the middle of the night to deliver water to a dry water hole.”

Callaway’s GoFundMe was so successful that she actually ended it. They raised $451,463, which they used to buy a new watering truck and save countless animals during the prologoned drought.

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