Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua’s story is one that warms the heart and proves that there are people who still care.
The pea farmer from Kenya rumbles down the dusty roads with some 3000 gallons of water into Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park, every day! Here, the elephants, buffalo, antelope and zebras come running when they hear the sound of his truck.
He came up with the idea after seeing firsthand the grim toll climate change has taken in his native land.
“We aren’t really receiving rain the way we used to,” he told The Dodo. “From last year, from June, there was no rain completely. So I started giving animals water because I thought, ‘If I don’t do that, they will die.'”
The 41-year-old also runs a conservation project called Tsavo Volunteers where he visits local schools to talk to children about the wildlife that is their legacy.
“I was born around here and grew up with wildlife and got a lot of passion about wildlife,” he says. “I decided to bring awareness to this so when they grow up they can protect their wildlife.”
Mwalua started renting a truck in 2016 and driving water to several locations in Tsavo West. His mission would then extend to several trucks, keeping him on the road for hours every day as he drives dozens of hard miles between stops.
He also gets help from three women in the United States who have never met him or met each other.
Angie Brown from Connecticut heard about the drought and connected on Facebook with Cher Callaway and Tami Calliope. The trio — Callaway lives in Utah and Calliope in Vermont — decided to help. Callaway had worked with Mwalua in other projects in his country.
“His commitment to the wildlife and his heritage is unmeasurable,” she says. “Even risking his own life in the middle of the night to deliver water to a dry water hole.”
Callaway set up a GoFundMe page that has so far collected more than $18,000 from people around the world — all of it going toward Mwalua’s water delivery service, reports The Dodo.
They are hoping to buy Mwalua his own truck.