In recent year’s water and its scarcity is one of the greatest issues facing Kenya . What were once permanent rivers, are now becoming seasonal, important water catchments are vanishing through illegal logging, squatters, encroaching live stock and the charcoal trade, and all of this against a back drop of a burgeoning human population.
The David Sheldrick wildlife Trust has for many years worked towards finding viable water alternatives in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, particularly within the arid Tsavo Conservation area. Strategic boreholes have been established in order to sustain wildlife populations in areas beyond the permanent and seasonal river courses of the area. Due to a limited rainfall annually, which seems to be only getting less in recent years due to global warming, the Trust’s water initiatives have taken on a greater significance than ever before.
The Voi River, in the Southern sector of Tsavo East National Park, was once a permanent river, flowing into the man made Aruba dam. Today the river flows seasonally only, and the Aruba dam is all but silted up, and more of a seasonal pan now than a dam. Throughout the dry months wildlife in the southern sector of Tsavo East National Park rely entirely on water from these boreholes.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust assists the Kenyan Wildlife Service by providing all ongoing maintenance of the windmills, pumps, and infrastructure, and we have in February and March rehabilitated the borehole water troughs and the surrounding grounds around them, which in time tends to become undermined by the constant pressures of wildlife, particularly elephants. We were able to achieve this in a small window provided by some out of season rains that fell in February, filling all the natural waterholes and alleviating the wildlife pressure. This meant that having the disruption of rehabilitation was not particularly significant, with other water points available to the animals, and we have now ensured everything is done in time for the onset of 2011’s dry months later this year.
In support of the Kenyan Wildlife Service and the Tsavo Conservation Area, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has funded the drilling of, and maintains the following boreholes: