Situated on the equator on Africa's east coast, agriculture is vital for Kenya’s 38 million people and accounts for 60 per cent of national employment.
There are over 1.8 million donkeys, two-thirds of which play a major role in Kenya’s economy especially in rural poverty reduction by providing employment opportunities and income that support people’s livelihoods.
In addition, the donkeys are the most common means of transport and tillage operations in most rural and per-urban communities in Kenya.
We have been supporting animal welfare programmes in Kenya since 2001 and currently provide veterinary treatment and promote sustainable equine welfare among owners and users in Central and Mt. Kenya regions, Mandera, Garissa, Nakuru, Narok, Kericho and Kisumu counties.
We recently established our East Africa regional office based in Nairobi for the closer management and expansion of our programmes in the region, and to enhance capacity to support local partners in equine welfare interventions.
We work with partners that include Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies (KENDAT), Practical Action (PA), Vétérinaires Sans Frontières - Belgium (VSF-B), Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA), Vetworks, Animal Welfare and Public Health (AWAPH) and Farming Systems Kenya (FSK).
Making a difference
- We’re providing training and support to local vets and community-based animal health workers, training them in preventative health measures, such as when to de-worm animals.
- We’re building shades and water troughs for working donkeys to help them cope with high temperatures, as well as working with owners to improve harness and equipment and donkey transport.
- Practical Action has pushed through an animal welfare friendly by-law in Mandera County. KENDAT has been instrumental in launching National Donkey Welfare Day celebrated on 17 May to highlight the plight of donkeys.
- KENDAT’s weekly national radio show Mtunze Punda Daima (‘Care for your donkeys always’) has been dispensing advice and awarding prizes to exemplary owners. It reaches thousands of poor communities and is also heard in neighbouring Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
- Kenya Veterinary Association has been spearheading engagements with other stakeholders for better policy environment to safeguard welfare of working animals
- Pupils perform messages about donkey welfare, through drama, poetry and song, learnt at the donkey care clubs in school.