Tanzanian donkeys receiving help from TAWESO

AAA partner group Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO) conducts Veterinary Outreach Clinics around the Mtera dam in the Southern parts of Tanzania.

The Donkey Welfare Outreach program in November reached the donkeys at one of the shores of Mtera dam called Mbweleli.

The donkeys here, as with all Mtera donkeys, pull heavy carts made for oxen and the goods they transport include mainly fish and water, but also bricks and firewood. They sometimes transport people as well, particularly taking them to hospital during the night.

The donkeys at this part of Mtera dam work non-stop during the day and have many horrible wounds due to the heavy loads and the use of yokes, but also due to beating by the drivers. The drivers work these donkeys hard and beat them in order to make them work faster, make more trips and hence increase the income.

TAWESO's veterinary care activities during this clinic included dressing of the wounds, dewormimg, treatment of disease conditions, hoof care and also training the owners on working hours and changing the yokes system.

The disease conditions attended were mostly those caused by external parasites e.g. tick and tsetse fly bites but they also treated tumours, lameness, eye problems and enteric conditions.

One side story the team heard while in the area is of a fatal accident during the night in which two donkeys were pulling a cart carrying a full-term pregnant mother who was being rushed to hospital for delivery. The cart was hit by a truck and the mother, donkeys and operators all died on spot. The local people said that the cart and yokes had no reflectors and the truck driver did not see them until it was too late. The crash had a lasting impact on the local people and TAWESO want to help them avoid incidents like this by providing them with reflectors in the hops that the lives of people and donkeys can be saved.

TAWESO are very grateful to Animal Aid Abroad and it's sponsors for supporting this much needed Donkey Veterinary Outreach Program in Southern Tanzania around the Mtera dam.

Through the support from AAA, TAWESO managed to help 253 donkeys around the Mtera at Bweleli shore.

Janet Thomas