Agents of environmental impact

 

 

For most people, the idea of helping wildlife is ludicrous. Just the simple thought of going out into the bush with the sole intent of aiding animals is a scary prospect for most – and a job best left to professionals, as evidenced by some of Kym Illman’s adventures on safaris. And most of the fears are not unfounded as wildlife is at times prone to attack livestock and people.

 

But this week’s guest on the wisinomad Dialogue Series, has a big heart for wildlife and sees it as a precious resource. Dubbed as the “water man” by numerous international media outlets, Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua saw the plight of wild animals during the dry periods, and sought out a way to make water available after witnessing many wildlife deaths as a result of drought.

 

His jovial nature and passion shine through as he discusses his work in Tsavo National Park. And despite it being a busy day for him, as he helps friends with their wedding plans, he still finds time to talk more about his work.

 

Patrick has been in animal conservation for 14 years, having joined conservation efforts right after leaving school. It seems like a natural transition  for him since he grew up in a small village surrounded by nature, but the numbers were diminishing due to high levels of poaching. And while working with rangers as part of conservation efforts, he noticed a buffalo sleeping at an empty waterhole in the middle of drought, with seemingly no help in sight and it touched his heart.

 

No animal was to die because of the drought if he could help it. He took out a truck with 10,000 liters from 70km away to get to the waterhole. He realized he had created a big problem as more and more animals were showing up, and he didn’t have nearly enough water.

 

“To Patrick, change comes from one person who has the courage to follow through on their beliefs, and leads the way for others—something he has been able to do. Because if everyone else sits back, no one can take care of Nature.”

 

And after sharing it on Facebook with his friends, the story went viral and he was able to get more funding and he managed to get four trucks out every day for almost 7 months. This led to Patrick starting more projects focused on sustainability like digging more water holes and helping the National Park transition from a generator (which could  get very expensive) to a mega solar panel to run the boreholes.

 

 

 

But when the elephants show up he finds that there is not enough water as they drink up most of it. But he keeps the water flowing, even when it means working odd hours. And there is usually no telling when the next drought will hit, so Patrick always has to be ready in case of poor rains. He does lament society has no drought management system for wildlife.

 

 

The publicity of his work has led to a lot of donations and volunteers which has helped his work immensely. To Patrick, change comes from one person who has the courage to follow through on their beliefs, and leads the way for others—something he has been able to do. Because if everyone else sits back, no one can take care of Nature. Even though he started the platform with little resources, it has led to a powerful movement. His work has drawn some high praise with the leader of Taiwan and some international companies reaching out to him.

 

 

A lot of Kenyans have been moved by his drive to help wildlife even as he was going through some personal challenges. It led to people offering to help in many small ways, and Patrick is delighted at such an outcome. Funding for the project as it has grown comes through charitable donations through GoFundme, but Patrick says they are now moving away from the platform as the costs have become very high, and they are now directing all donations through Paypal.

 

 

After all, “This is what we human beings are supposed to do. Understanding that mother nature needs us and there’s no life without wildlife.”, as Patrick says.

 

 

wisinomad community values environmental conversation as we believe that we ought to be responsible to preserve nature for the future generations. We’re proud to be the first coliving program that offers sessions during our coliving experience where we teach both local and international community on the importance of environmental conservation.

 

To learn more about wisinomad program, visit www.wisinomad.com, and send in your application

 

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