Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

African Man Transports Thousands Of Liters Of Water To Animals Living In Drought

Water is a basic necessity of life. So when an area is afflicted with drought, it isn't just humans that are threatened — it's every living thing in the area. Fortunately, in at least one case, a remarkably generous act is helping thirsty animals.

Kenya's been hit hard by droughts.

Wikipedia | Jan Erkamp

One such area is Tsavo West National Park. The 3,500 square-mile nature reserve is home to a wide variety of animals, including rhinos, hippos, elephants and lions. Recent droughts have left many of these animals struggling to survive.

A local farmer decided to help.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua, a pea farmer, mobilized a group of volunteers to help out. With his small team, he brings thousands of gallons to the park a few times a week.

Their lives depend on it.

Wikipedia | Steve Brabant

"There is completely no water, so the animals are depending on humans," he said. "If we don't help them, they will die. He didn't ever set out to do this, but got the idea after seeing how dry the park was.

It's been a runaway success.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

The mission to supply thirsty animals with drinking water resonated, and Mwalua eventually set up a foundation, Mwalua Wildlife Trust, to keep their animal-hydration efforts organized and get the word out.

The animals know him by now.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

He said that some of the beasts, notably big herds of wild buffalo, have gotten used to his water deliveries and will eagerly wait for his next arrival.

He does it with a special truck.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

The tanker trucks fill up with fresh drinking water in the town of Voi, about 45 miles away from the park entrance. From there, they go inside the park and start delivering the water.

Ride-alongs are possible.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

Mwalua notes on his website that there's a possibility that anyone curious (and brave enough) might be able to ride along for one of these water deliveries, depending on the season.

They have to get the most out of the water they have.

Mwalua Wildlife Trust

Because those trucks can only cram so many gallons in them, it's crucial that the water goes toward rehydrating thirsty animals. To ensure this, Mwalua uses these big concrete water pans.

It's like a giant water dish.

Mwalua Wildlife Trust

They've built two of these big water pans already, and hope to build 20 total. These dishes keep water from seeping into the ground, which ensures that it's drinkable for a longer time.

They plan ahead.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

Mwalua and his team have brought excavators into the park to dig deep holes into the hard ground. These act as underground reservoirs and provide a long-lasting source of water.

They collect what little rain there is.

Mwalua Wildlife Trust

They've plotted out the best spots to put these holes, so that when there is a rainstorm, the runoff will run directly into them. It's estimated that they can store rainwater for three to six months after a rainfall.

Keeping it renewable.

Mwalua Wildlife Trust

Because some of the facilities will inevitably require power, Mwalua is working on a solution that uses clean energy. These solar panels provide green energy to the park, and don't make the disruptive racket of gasoline generators.

Clean energy is already doing wonders.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

Known as solar pumps, the Mwalua Trust has already installed two in the park. These solar powerhouses can pump 60,000 litres of water from the ground into access tanks every day.

There's even more.

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

Dishes, solar energy and underground holes are all good for keeping the park hydrated, but the Trust is also working on creating big concrete water tanks to store even more water.

What a story!

Facebook | Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua

It's pretty incredible that this whole initiative was inspired by one man's chance observation at the park.

Make sure to check out Mwalua Wildlife Trust, as well as Patrick's Facebook account to stay in the loop.