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. Roughly 80 percent of total land surface is classified as arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) where 25 percent of Kenya’s population and over 50 percent of total livestock are found.

There are over 1.8 million donkeys, two-thirds of which play a major role in Kenya’s economy especially in rural and urban poverty reduction by providing employment opportunities and income that support people’s livelihoods. In Mwea, donkeys are used to transport rice using carts; in Kisumu donkeys are used to transport harvested sand to construction sites and in the Molo area of Nakuru, donkeys are used by women to transport firewood from the forest to the suppliers. Where there is poor infrastructure, people rely mainly on donkeys for transport needs. Despite the heavy reliance on donkeys by such communities, cultural beliefs and lack of education mean there is a tendency to neglect and/or mistreat them.

Equids are no doubt one of Kenya’s greatest assets. In recognition of this, the Brooke has been funding equine welfare programmes in Kenya since 2001. These programmes seek to improve provision of veterinary service through training of local health service providers and promote better and sustainable care by owners and users.

We are currently working with seven partners in Kenya and further information in relation to partners can be found here

The Brooke East Africa (BEA) Office

The Brooke established its East Africa regional office in Nairobi in 2013 for closer management and development; this will also allow further expansion in Kenya and the region, ensure more effective support and monitoring to local partners in equine welfare interventions.

Making a difference

  • We’re providing training and support to local health service providers and community-based animal health workers, training them in preventative health measures, such as when to de-worm animals
  • We are linking donkey owners to trained local health service providers in an effort to maximize access to quality health care for the donkeys
  • We are working in communities to change the attitudes and practices associated with poor welfare and teach basic skills such as correct harnessing and handling in order to improve the welfare and wellbeing of their donkeys
  • The National Donkey Day is an annual event celebrated on the 17th of May. The day brings together policy makers, animal health service providers, owners, users and the general public; the aim is to share and learn about the importance of donkeys to the community and how best to care for the donkeys
  • The BEA weekly national radio show Mtunze Punda Daima (‘Care for your donkeys always’) has been sharing advice to donkey owners and the public on how best to take care of donkeys and their importance to society. The broadcast reaches a vast number of communities and is also aired in neighboring Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. In collaboration with the Government and other animal welfare stakeholders, BEA is engaged in efforts for the formulation of animal welfare policies and laws at both national and county levels
  •  Some of our partners work closely with schools to teach donkey care school club members on appropriate methods of care for donkeys in their community. The pupils share their gained knowledge on donkey care through acting, reciting poems, singing and dancing


Read the latest blogs from Kenya here and here 

Kenya at a glance

Population: 44 million
Percentage of population living below the poverty line: 50%
Number of Partners: 7
Number of working donkeys: 1.8 million donkeys

AHS - Bob donkey

Dr Mwirigi treats a donkey that has Africah Horse Sickness with antibiotics and pain killers

Ricky and Welfare

Ricky and his donkey who he called Welfare

A donkey and hsi owner

A donkey and his proud owner take part in National Donkey Day which highlights the plight of Kenya's working donkeys.

Donkeys carry water containers in Kenya

Donkeys carry water containers in Kenya. ©The Brooke

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