TAWESO Donkey Welfare Outreach Clinic, Lake Zone, Tanzania
by Thomas Kahema, Executive Diretor-TAWESO
Thanks to AKI for being the sole supporter of the clinics conducted around the Lake Victoria zone, where TAWESO operates three offices run by volunteers in the zone.
During April 2019, through the support of Animal-Kind International, Tanzania Animal Welfare Society conducted Donkey Welfare Outreach Clinics around Lake Victoria in the Lake Zone. The clinics worked in the districts of Chato and Geita in Geita Region and Magu in Mwanza Region.
The clinics were conducted over a one week period and helped a total of 321 donkeys. During the clinics, donkeys were given overall health checks, they were de-wormed, wounds were dressed, and the vets treated tick-borne diseases, eye problems, lameness, and skin problems.
To conduct the clinics, TAWESO collaborated with the respective Livestock and Fisheries Departments. TAWESO's Donkey Owner Groups were instrumental in the success of the clinics. The Chairmen of the Donkey Owner Groups gave Humane Education talks to all donkey owners who brought their donkeys to the clinics. They discussed ownership responsibilities, basic needs of the donkeys, and the regulations and penalties for violation of humane treatment of donkeys, including overworking, overloading, and beatings. The Chairmen also distributed informational leaflets to donkey owners.
Some kids who brought their donkeys to the clinics, were eager to learn and always were happy to see their animals being helped.
At the clinic locations, TAWESO displayed the names of the sponsors of the clinics. All donations were received through Animal-Kind International, the sole sponsor of the clinics. We thank the following:
1. The Philips Family: Caring for Animals Globally
2. Anonymous : In honour of Margaret Gardiner
3. AKI general fund
The Donkey Owners Groups, district leaders, and communities were very grateful for the vet care support for their donkeys. They rely on their donkeys for their livelihoods, including various domestic and commercial work, such as carrying water, crops, firewood, construction materials, and carrying people.
The donkeys around Lake Victoria work in a variety of areas: domestic (carrying water, firewood, crops), construction (carrying sand, timber, stones, bricks), gold mines (ores, sand, logs), and brick kilns (water, firewood/logs, bricks).