Published on the 30th of January, 2020
Tsavo has always experienced times of drought, however, climatic changes have seen these occurring more frequently and with no degree of predictability. So while Tsavo enjoys the final flourish of one of its most plentiful rainy seasons in living memory, the SWT has been further preparing for drier periods.
We are delighted to have completed another major ‘Water for Wildlife’ project in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service. In a famously hot and dry area north of the Galana River, we have finished the installation of a water trough that holds 70,000 litres. The trough is fed by a borehole we drilled last year, operated by a submersible solar powered pump.
Four separate water points have been developed from this one borehole, the first being a cleverly designed trough for crystal clear water with an outer drinking area for smaller animals, as well as a rock structure at its center to allow weary and thirsty birds a safe perch from which to drink. Another smart feature is the installation of gate valves that allow for the managed run off of excess water into two natural water pans some kilometers apart, and a fourth which flows into a wetland area to allow animals to wallow, and help plants and trees to flourish year-round.
Thought was, of course, also given to Rangers from the close by KWS security base who are tasked with patrolling this area, with the construction of a 50,000 litre water tank, which is fed by a pipeline from the borehole, to ensure security personnel have access to water. While a special bowser filling station has also been created close to the borehole, enabling us to fast fill the SWT water bowsers during the driest periods, so that they can then fill dried up natural water pans in the northern area of Tsavo East National Park, where the vegetation is abundant but water scarce.
Ensuring elephants and other species have access to water in these changing times is an ever pressing need and thanks to our donors, and partners KWS, we are excited to have officially opened this new water installation on 23rd January 2020, when the SWT's Robert Carr-Hartley and Trevor Jennings introduced KWS Director General Brig. (Rtd.) John Waweru and senior KWS personnel to the site.