There is a rumble in the dark and enormous figures loom. The solitary human figure stands his ground; his community depends on him. Thirsty elephants are dangerous, but not so dangerous as a broken borehole during a severe drought.
His job is simple but important: keep water flowing and prevent damage from wildlife. And there is one like him at each of the 12 boreholes that Big Life supports. These water points are lifelines in areas far from natural water sources. They are used by people and livestock during the day, and by wildlife at night. Everyone benefits.
But when water in the troughs runs dry, elephants will break them apart to access the pipes, resulting in community anger and a dangerous conflict situation. Borehole attendants try to prevent this damage, often sitting atop reservoirs overnight, and calling Big Life rangers to assist when necessary.
When damage is done then Big Life helps with repairs, and we’ve already had to increase our budget for this with more frequent damage to boreholes as a result of the drought.
A better solution is to give wild animals the water they need, and we provide fuel to pump extra water at community boreholes during the dry months, so that there is enough for livestock AND wildlife.
We’ve had to increase our budget for this too and are also using emergency water bowsers (trailers fitted with water tanks) to deliver water to more remote areas. This will help take the pressure off animals needing to travel long distances to find water, which is often the killer during a drought.
Thank you for your donations to support wildlife and people in these worsening conditions.
Photo: Josh Clay