Incidents of donkey theft are dramatically increasing in Kenya. It is believed the crime is driven by the rising demand for donkey skins from China. In just three months nearly 1,000 donkeys have been reported stolen from the five most affected counties in Kenya; Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Nyandarua and Kiambu. This criminal activity is brutally cruel to the animals, leaving their owners distressed and without the means to earn a living.
Last year, Brooke East Africa launched the Linda Punda Ushinde Challenge (Protect your donkey and win) to find a solution to this horrific situation. More than 200 Donkey Welfare groups were invited to share their practical and sustainable ideas to reduce donkey thefts.
Winning ideas included lockable donkey shelters, solar powered security lights, guard dogs, and community surveillance hubs. The expert panel, comprised of representatives from the police, vets, Brooke East Africa and local Brooke partners, looked for innovative ideas that took into account cost efficiency and sustainability.
So far, 9762 donkeys have been protected from theft through initiatives implemented through the challenge. Now, with Brooke funding, the winning ideas will be refined and scaled up to protect as many at-risk donkeys as possible. It is hoped too that publicity and discussion around the competition will shine a spotlight on the issue and the urgent need to combat it.
Safer and more welfare-friendly trimming techniques.
Brooke organises community training sessions on shelter provision and hoof care.