Have you ever felt thirsty? Your first thought is to get water ,but what if you can’t get the water? Animals get thirsty too and for wild animals in Tsavo National Park its worse as like some parts of Kenya the area is extremely ravaged by drought and vegetation due to climate change.
In unreletenting heatwave and drought that has left both animals and man patched but unlike man who can roam freely in search of water, the animals’ watering holes in Tsavo West remain dry until Patrick comes in with his hired truck.
In a park with one of the highest daily visitor rates in the country no visitor is as welcomed as Patrick Mwalua Kilonzo. For the thousands of thirsty animals .He is their savior and a superhero as he drives over 70 Kilometres four times in a week with an average of three trips per day to provide over 12,000 liters of water to the famished animals almost daily.
Patrick who is a pea farmer in his local Kajire village, in Sagalla location ,Taita Taveta County, hires a water tanker almost everyday and fills it with 3000 litres of fresh water,driving tens of kilometers of wild land to make sure the animals don’t die of thirst ,to the zebras,elephants,antelopes and buffaloes of Tsavo. He is a friend and a savior.
According to Patrick ,he does that simply because he loves animals and doesn’t want to find Kenya one day without them and future generations robbed of the legacy.
The man who Kenyans have hailed as a hero became an overnight superstar when photos of him and his water trips became viral.
Mwalua who grew up close the park remembers earlier droughts when the animals died due to lack of water.
Patrick is the founder of Tsavo Volunteers a grassroot whom according to their facebook page offer an authentic volunteering experience in Kenya. His organisation’s mission is to save many species of animals and to restore their habitats hands-on.This what he does almost everyday by watering over 2,000 animals daily.
Having started the organization that does awareness and has individually been volunteering in the park .The last 13 years he has been undoing snares within the park but mostly getting local children to appreciate the park
A Go Fund Me Account has been opened by an American Cher Callaway whose aim to ensure Patrick gets to not only hire a tanker but own one; to make four trips weekly to replenish two watering holes located in the park and has the money to do what he loves to do -provide water for wild animals.
To help Mwalua buy his own truck and help with his initiative, three women who have never met Patrick or each other (Angie Brown, Cher Callaway and Tami Calliope), decided to help him out. Callaway who has worked with Mwalua on several other projects, decided to set up a GoFundMe page that has so far collected $25,000.The money is much needed as he spends more than 19,000Ksh. per trip