TAWESO-AKI: History of our Partnership
Tanzania Animal Welfare Society has been an AKI Partner since January 2011. Here's what our partnership accomplished for animals during 2011-2015 (Please see other AKI Blog posts for information post-2015. Currently our support to TAWESO is specifically for donkey welfare clinics).
In early 2015, TAWESO held an 8-day Donkey Veterinary Clinic in Ilolo and Kimagai villages in Mpwapwa District, Dodoma (the clinics were funded from other sources, as well). A total of 654 donkeys were helped. Following the start of heavy rains in Dodoma, many donkeys started shifting from lowlands to highlands. Most of the migrating donkeys had wounds on tails, backs, in the gluteal region, and on their necks, as well as tick-borne diseases and eye and fungal infections. TAWESO treated the donkeys and also vaccinated them against rabies.
Students from the local Livestock College helped because the number of donkeys was too high for only TAWESO volunteers to handle and because this is a great opportunity for learning. TAWESO also gave presentations to donkey owners about how to care for their donkeys. AKI funds covered purchase of medicines, including rabies injections, and vet supplies, photocopying humane ed material, and transport, accommodation, and meals for TAWESO volunteers. [pictures below]
With AKI's 2nd disbursement of 2014 to TAWESO, they held a Donkey Outreach Clinic for 10 days in Bumila villages in Mpwapwa District, Dodoma. (Other donors also provided support for the 10-day clinic.) Owners brought their donkeys to the clinics to be treated for worm infestations, eye problems, skin diseases, and tick-borne diseases but the majority had wounds especially on the back, tail, and neck. A total of 457 donkeys were treated during the 10 days. TAWESO volunteers also talked with the owners about using humane harnesses for their working donkeys. The area where these clinics operated is very mountainous and the donkeys travel on narrow trails while carrying water, crops, charcoal, and building materials, and they get scraped and their heavy burdens create sores. The District Chief Veterinary Officer was very impressed with TAWESO's assistance and he urged them to "continue to help the donkeys working in the mountain areas as they suffer a lot while working." [pictures below]
TAWESO built dog kennels and a small cat enclosure with AKI's first disbursement of 2014! TAWESO desperately needed a place to keep unwanted, stray, and mistreated dogs and cats in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city. During vet outreach clinics, TAWESO often sees cats and dogs who are in really poor shape, and sometimes owners hand dogs and cats over to TAWESO. Strays are often turned over to TAWESO too--but back in 2014, the organization only had makeshift shelters for these animals. Thanks to AKI donors, TAWESO was able to build kennels. There's also an enclosed area outside the kennels so that when the dogs are out of the kennels, they can run around in an escape-proof area. Dr. Thomas said: "The kennels are of much help as we are still working towards getting a permanent animal shelter, a lot of animals need rescue now. So far the kennels have helped 70 dogs and 30 cats. The kennels are working as rehabilitation centres." (The kennels were meant to be temporary holding facilities, and as of now, 2018, AKI no longer supports their upkeep.) [pictures below]
AKI funds sent to TAWESO in December 2013 supported a Veterinary Outreach Clinic (pictures from days 1 and 2 of the clinic are below). From Dr. Thomas: "The day started out well at 9:30 AM, with very good attendance. However the weather changed at around 11:00, when it started raining slowly; by 12:30, the rain was very heavy and it was thundering and lightning. The area where the clinic was set up was flooded, and still the rain continued. TAWESO’s tent split in half from the heavy rainfall, and their humane ed leaflets were soaked. TAWESO had to call the clinic off for the day."
Even in that crazy weather, TAWESO treated 72 dogs and 4 cats. All were de-wormed, vaccinated against rabies, and some were treated for specific conditions (mange, flea and tick infestations, malnutrition, skin conditions, broken bones). They were only able to do 2 spays that first day. So TAWESO—not willing to give up--repeated the clinic the next day. The weather was clear and people responded in great numbers. TAWESO treated 64 dogs and 6 cats; this included 15 spays (15 dogs, 6 cats-6 were neuters, the rest spays). [pictures below]
TAWESO used AKI funds during the first half of 2013 for workshops where participants learned to make humane harnesses for their donkeys. [pictures below]
In March 2013-April 2013, TAWESO used AKI funds to hold Mobile Vet Clinics in Dar es Salaam. AKI funds helped TAWESO provide veterinary care to 41 dogs and cats with various diseases and 5 spays and 6 neuters. [pictures]
During March 2013-April 2013, AKI funds also supported a Donkey Vet Clinic in Mpwapwa, Dodoma. TAWESO held workshops on donkey harness-making and general donkey care for 104 people in 10 villages. Dr. Thomas told us, "We were training village leaders and teachers who are very influential in the villages who in turn will help improve the welfare of donkeys through putting the agenda in the village meetings as regulations and on day to day works showing how to use improved harnesses. As we have the Animal Welfare Act 2008 in place, if they put donkey care provisions in village regulations it will have a great and sustainable impact to the welfare of donkeys in Mpwapwa district in the central part of Tanzania." The humane harnesses are made with readily available material that can be obtained at no/low cost. [pictures below]
AKI's support to TAWESO helped 213 donkeys and their owners during June 2012 as part of the Donkey Harness and Animal Health project in Mpwapwa district in Dodoma region. The work included training donkey owners to make and use saddle pack harnesses from available rags; and provision of donkey health care (de-worming, wound dressing, treatment of specific diseases). With AKI funds, TAWESO purchased medicines, supplies, and fuel to transport the volunteers to Dodoma, to the local villages, and home to Dar. [pictures below]