Already one of Africa's poorest states, Ethiopia has been plagued by periodic droughts which have increased its problems of poverty and famine, as people rely mainly on agriculture and are left with fewer and fewer choices to meet their basic needs.

Ethiopia has the third largest equine population in the world with about eight million horses, donkeys and mules, serving as a lifeline for 85 per cent of Ethiopians and playing a crucial role in the national economy. However, horses and donkeys live under harsh conditions and as a result their life expectancy is a third of the norm.

Making a difference

We aim to bring about improvements in the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules and have been working towards a deeper understanding of the connection between poverty, unstable livelihoods and the effect on animal welfare, since 2006.

To help make improvements, we are working with local governments and owners and through partner organisations Send a Cow (SaC), the Organisation for Rural Development in Amhara (ORDA), Sustainable Environment and Development Action (SEDA and African Development Aid Association (ADAA). Working with community structures Brooke aims to strengthen the community resources to bring about sustainable welfare improvement based on local solutions for local problems.

More information about our partners can be found here

We are:

  • Working with equine users, owners and carers to understand their knowledge, attitude and practices to strengthen good practices as well as to influence attitudes.
  • Working with the government service delivery system, private animal health service providers and communities to increase coverage and build a sustainable system of health and husbandry delivery.
  • Training community animal health workers and achieving wider coverage of veterinary service provision especially in remote rural areas.
  • Further developing our approach of linking equine welfare with livelihood and to join hands with other livestock and human development organisations to bring about significant impact in equine welfare.

Watch a video about our work in Ethiopia or read the latest blogs here and here 

Ethiopia at a glance

Population: 93 million (July estimate)
Human Development Index: 173 (out of 187)
Percentage of people living below the poverty line: 39%
Partners: ORDA, SaC, SEDA and ADAA
Number of working horses, donkeys and mules: 8 million

Donkeys sharing the load with women owners in Ethiopia

Donkeys sharing the load with women owners in Ethiopia. © The Brooke

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