February 2020: Locust swarms in Uganda (& some good news too)
Now that Bam Animal Clinics-Uganda has become an AKI Partner Organization-as of January 2020, they've expanded their donkey welfare work in eastern Uganda from only Kween District to Bukwo District, where every home has at least one donkey, many of them with severe wounds due to the poor saddles and harnesses commonly used. When Bam organized a humane saddle (made out of sisal and padded) making workshop, they also found that Bukwo's donkeys have many untreated health issues, mainly due to internal and external parasites, and now, a new concern has emerged:
Bam's Director, David Balondemu, said, "Swarms of locusts have invaded eastern Uganda and they look unstoppable. The grazing animals will suffer the most as they will have no pasture to feed on since the locusts come in and wipe out all vegetation in their path. The swarm reached our project areas in Bukwo District and we are in total fear that many donkeys will have no pasture to graze."
Imagine....your home and farm invaded by a swarm of locusts-you can barely see beyond the cloud of insects. You and your animals have nowhere to hide. This picture gives some idea of what it's like:
While in Bukwo District, Bam implemented their new AKI-supported program, "Treat for Free."Almost all the animals brought to the Treat for Free clinic received care, including de-worming and wound and injury care (picture below shows one day of a Treat for Free clinic-you can also see one of the donkeys wearing the new padded sisal saddle).
BUT this is only parish (Kubobei Parish) within Kortek sub-county within Bukwo District! Just in Bukwo District, there are 12 sub-counties, 65 parishes, and 521 villages! Bam has a lot of work ahead of them helping donkeys in just this pilot sub-county (let alone in Bukwo District). And Bam's support in these areas is going to be more and more important as the locust swarms spread and the local governments seem powerless to stop them-or to help the suffering, hungry donkeys.
As a preliminary emergency measure, we've sent Bam Animal Clinics a disbursement so they have some funding available to treat emergency cases and to provide for donkeys in the communities most affected by locusts; this will probably include providing alternative feed to the most needy animals and providing vet care.
Also, we're helping Bam Animal Clinics raise money to purchase a motorbike-and preferably two motorbikes- so they can more easily and quickly move around these very hilly parts of eastern Uganda (you can see a bit of the terrain in the photo above). Battling the locust swarms and ensuring the health and well-being of the area's donkeys and other grazing animals will require Bam's immediate presence and support. (We know travel by motorbike through a locust swarm will not be easy, but it's the only way to get to many of these remote mountainous areas-and Bam is committed to reaching them!) We hope you'll join us in supporting the AKI-Bam effort to help donkeys in locust-affected areas by designating your AKI donations to AKI for a Bam motorbike.
We have 4 new blog posts to share this month, 1 is about an AKI Grantee and 3 are about our Partner Organizations, what they've been up to, and what your donations have accomplished:
Have A Heart-Namibia: Helping in Under-Served Areas with AKI Donor Support - Read about how your support is helping by funding the AKI-HAH Emergency Fund, booster shots, anti-parasite prevention, and spay/neuter.
Kingston Community Animal Welfare - helping animals thanks to you - It's a never-ending process, Deborah adds more needy street animals to KCAW's feeding route and puts them on the list for spay/neuter.
Save the Animals-Armenia Update - With only 51 dogs left at the SAA shelter (see picture below of the SAA shelter and a few of the remaining dogs, most of them elders), Nune turns her sights -and her assistance-to dogs living on Yerevan's streets. Thank you Elen for the great videos in this post-they make you feel like you're there with Nune.
Egyptian Society of Animal Friends: Report on the AKI Grant - ESAF's Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release project was a big success, but the work continues.
AKI in the News Thank you to The Bark magazine for publishing AKI Board Member, Karen Rae's, article about her involvement in transporting 2 dogs from Nepal to the US. The article should inspire a lot of discussion about transporting dogs-and cats too-across borders for a chance at a better home. It's costly, it feels good, but is it the best use of scarce animal welfare funding? We're also grateful to Donkeys for Africa for including another article about AKI in their February 2020 online magazine. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! AKI donors support our 10 Partner Organizations in Uganda (2 partners), Tanzania, South Sudan, Namibia, Liberia, Ghana, Armenia, Jamaica, and Honduras; and AKI's Grant Program for Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organizations (2019 grant recipients are located in: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Mozambique, and South Africa.) In case you missed it, our 2019 Annual Report is available on our website. And for our US-based monthly donors, April 15 is coming up soon-you should have received a thank you email and receipt from me-sent to your email address-back in November. If you haven't, please get in touch and I will send it again. We are so grateful that because of your support we can continue to help animals in our focus countries. I think there's a growing appreciation that our brother and sister animal rescuers in poor countries need our help. They can't do it alone, they can't do it with only donations from within their countries. Thank you for helping animals in countries where your help is so needed and where our supported organizations are dedicated to making positive changes in the lives of animals. Help us spread the message, Kindness to Animals has no Boundaries With Gratitude, Karen Menczer, Founder & Director & the AKI Board What do you think of our new newsletter design/software? Send us your thoughts (and if there's anything more you'd like to hear from us, let us know)!