Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park is about the size of Yellowstone and like its American counterpart serves as a refuge for numerous animal species, some of them endangered. The region has been hit by a prolonged drought, leaving animals battling for what little shade is available from surviving trees and desperate for water. One man, Patrick Mwalua, decided something had to be done to save the park’s imperiled animals. “If we don’t help them they will die.”
Patrick rented a water truck and began dropping by the town of Voi (over 40 miles from the park) every day to purchase 3,000 gallons of water, earning him the nickname “Water Man of Voi.” Waiting in line and filling the truck easily takes an hour. Once the truck is filled, he drives to the park, first on a paved road and once in the park, over a rutted dirt road. He stops by several watering holes and unleashes a torrent from the water truck. The incredible thing about Patrick’s effort is that it’s entirely on his own time and, initially, at his own expense. The fact that he has kidney disease and has to go in for dialysis once a week didn’t stop him, either!
Before long, the animals, including zebras, elephants, and buffalo, began to eagerly gather at the watering hole when they heard the truck coming. It’s been described as being like a happy hour for them! The animals seem to know he’s there to help and never charge at him. “Last night, I found 500 buffalo waiting at the water hole. 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.” Thanks to help from friends and other supporters, Patrick’s effort now involves several water trucks.
Check out the video we’ve posted below and drop us a line in the Facebook comments to let us know what you think of this unsung hero’s efforts to protect some of the planet’s more magnificent animals. Don’t forget to like and share!