AKI Partner Organization-Mbwa wa Africa, Tanzania
The Mbwa wa Africa shelter remains open during the COVID-19 pandemic. With safety precautions in place, Mbwa wa Africa continues to rescue animals, and as space allows, to accept cats and dogs into their shelter. Currently of major concern is that expats have fled the country and many have left their animals behind. Mbwa wa Africa is having to respond to these irresponsible actions even at a time when their volunteers are limited in number. Of course, AKI donors continue to help ensure that the animals at the shelter receive the food and care they need.
AKI's Partnership with Mbwa wa Africa, Tanzania
Sandra & Jens (photos above) founded Mbwa wa Africa Animal Rescue in 2013 as a non-profit organization based in Usa River, Meru District, Arusha, Tanzania. MwA rescues and re-homes animals in need and runs spay/neuter and rabies vaccination campaigns in the Arusha region. MwA has a shelter where about 30-35 unwanted, abused, and injured dogs and 5-10 kitties are housed and rehabilitated, and 2 quarantine kennels, where incoming animals are 1st checked to make sure they're healthy, provided veterinary treatment, and socialized before joining the shelter's general population.
MwA became an AKI Partner in January 2017. Donations to AKI have covered about 1/3 the operating costs for the MwA shelter and are used for vet care for shelter animals, cat and dog food, shelter staff salaries, shelter supplies, and maintenance and upgrade of shelter infrastructure. Although Mbwa wa Africa has received grants for spay/neuter and rabies vaccination campaigns, their shelter was significantly under-funded until we formed a partnership (although the need is still huge!).
Jens described how important the MwA-AKI partnership is: "Without AKI, we would struggle keeping the shelter running....our philosophy is to help as many dogs and cats as possible and to give them a chance when injured or in need of medical care. Campaign donations [spay/neuter and rabies] don't cover that!! Meaning without you we would have to take a dog's life to make sure he is not suffering instead of giving him a chance to recover!!! That is why we are so proud of having AKI as a partner."
The two biggest animal welfare challenges that MwA faces are the overwhelming number of street cats and dogs in the Arusha area, and the prevalence of rabies. In Tanzania, rabies kills about 1,500 people per year, most of them children.
Mbwa wa Africa is Kiswahili for Dogs of Africa.
Where Did Your Donations Go?
Mbwa wa Africa Updates from the AKI Blog
More about Mbwa wa Africa
The MwA Team: Philbert, Amoni, Maiko, Kandida, Michael, Elisa, & William (and Sandra & Jens)
MwA's Humane Education Program is aimed at educating children and teachers with the message gradually being carried forward to their parents and the wider community.
Maureen, a retired teacher from the US, developed a dog- specific animal welfare curriculum (see 1 of the exercises, photo right), which is based on the Tanzanian English curriculum.
These pictures, above and below, give you an idea of the animal rescue and protection work that Mbwa wa Africa deals with on a daily basis.
Picture 1: Kids found 10 little puppies on a dead mother dog in Moshi and rather than leaving them to die, went to someone for help, and luckily, the Moshi pups ended up at the MwA shelter.
Picture 2: Baraka raised two puppies, Popi and Carlos, that he found abandoned in the forest. When ready to part with them, he brought the puppies to the MwA shelter.
Picture 3: Ibrahim found a dead mother dog and tried to save her 4 tiny puppies before he eventually brought them to MwA. In this picture, Jens takes a nap with them.
Picture 4: Jefta Riwa carried his badly injured dog Faru and her 6 puppies many miles to meet Sandra at a road so that Faru could get veterinary care.
Picture 5: Guinea pigs Aimee (pictured), Caana, and her daughter Muloon, were rescued and found their forever home with....Sandra and Jens!
Picture 6: Dori, Shadow, and 4 more siblings were saved as puppies from drowning on a flooded road in Arusha. They were brought to MwA and Dori and Shadow, always best friends, were adopted together.
Picture 1: This tiny puppy was rescued from a drain, where she was stuck, and brought to the MwA shelter. At the time, MwA was full, but this was an emergency....So, Maya moved in. Sandra said, "She is an awesome little dog with a very happy and kind personality!"
Pictures 2 & 3: The same morning that Maya was rescued, the MwA team found tiny Nepomuck (a big name for such a little thing!) inside the shelter compound - somebody must have dropped him over the fence during the night! Nepomuck (brown pup) was only 5 weeks old and showed nervous symptoms, possibly indicating rabies (worst case), or more likely at his tender age, worms developing in his little brain. Luckily, it was the latter, certainly not pleasant, but caught soon enough, so it was treatable (It's easy to prevent with de-worming of the mother dog.) The treatment kills the worms (picture 3) but causes swelling of the brain, which makes the pup go mad, short-term only, or even unconscious. Nepo went through a tough 48 hours, but he made it and turned out to be a very sweet little guy. His white friend in the picture is Malaika, who was also very sick, but also pulled through.
Pictures 4-6: Ismael found Schneider next to a road unable to walk. Ismael notified Jens, who went to help. They were able to bring the dog to the shelter, and at Merlino Vet Clinic, xrays showed he had a compression fracture in his spine, a broken hip, and the root of his tail was totally shattered. The injuries suggested that he was hit by a car from behind. His chances of ever walking again were quite slim. However, he was trying, so MwA decided to try too! What a surprise when he struggled to get back on his feet and took the first wobbly steps the following day! He improved every day and loved playing with the other dogs.