Showing others how to care
Birhanu Jenoro works hard as a farmer in Shashego, Ethiopia, to support his family of five children. He relies on his donkey, Shepo, to make a living transporting fire wood and pepper to Hosanna and Bonosha towns. Birhanu typically earns less than 4000 Birr (approximately £150) a year.
It is estimated that over 85 per cent of the population in Ethiopia live in rural areas and nearly all families own at least one donkey. Donkeys tolerate drought better than cattle, so they are a lifeline for Ethiopia’s rural communities, like Birhanu’s.
Many donkeys suffer welfare problems due to the poverty of their owners and frequent droughts that plague the country. Shepo was no exception.
For five years Shepo worked hard for Birhanu but unfortunately he developed a sore on his back. Inadequate padding and overloading meant a wound could not heal properly. Thankfully Birhanu turned to the Brooke.
Lending a helping hand
Birhanu lives in a remote village, so he visited the nearby Bidika health post where Brooke Veterinary Officer, Wubshet Shewarega, treated Shepo. Wubshet also showed Birhanu how to clean the wound himself and explained why it’s important not to overload Shepo.
“I was following up the treatment eagerly and interested in the way it was being done. The Brooke vet officer showed me a medicine that is locally available and doesn’t cost much money, so now I can do it myself,” said Birhanu.
Wounds caused by overloading and insufficient padding are common amongst donkeys in Shashego. Showing owners how to better care for their animals is an important part of the Brooke’s work in Ethiopia.