Positive change for working donkeys in Tanzania - Geita region.

Tanzania Humane Charity and AAA have been very busy helping hundreds of working donkeys in Bukombe, Tanzania. We have a number of projects gaining momentum:

  • New model Carts construction  program

  • A sanctuary based program where we offer rehabilitation for badly injured or sick donkeys and in some cases a permanent home for donkeys who can no longer work.

  • Donkey Clinic program [ on-site and outreach]

  • Education Program including children uniform sponsorship  

  • Rescue and rehabilitation of orphan foals from the donkey skin trade

The challenge of wounds and pains associated with ox yoke carts, beating and overloading is a call for attention. TAHUCHA and AAA are determined and  to address this problem by attacking from all sides through making proper carts, training donkey riders and owners to observe load limits, medication of donkeys and providing education as a key to behavioural change.

TAHUCHA and AAA have a referral medical block for hospitalising badly injured and serious sick donkeys which need close attention and we also use the similar facility to care for undernourished donkeys and rescued orphan foals from the abattoir after their mothers have been slaughtered for their skins and meat.

 Our Sanctuary serves two purposes

1.      Medical block  for the rehabilitation of badly injured  and serious sick donkeys

2.      Shelter for hand rearing undernourished donkeys and rescued orphan foals.

Due to the plight of donkeys in Bukombe, establishment of a sanctuary was necessary.

From January to April we have 50 cases of seriously sick and badly injured donkeys admitted for few days , 44 donkeys  got better  and were discharged under medical guidance , we lost six donkeys, two confirmed rabid donkeys and four confirmed tetanus cases  Donkeys in Bukombe serve in forest, carrying logs for timbers so they interact with wildlife and get rabid from the bush.

Most of the welfare cases of donkeys come to the sanctuary for medications are seriously injured by overworking, beating, ox yoke wounds, overloading and hematoma.

The health issues facing donkeys admitted in the sanctuary is impaction colic, tetanus, rabies, exhausted,  equine,  trypanasomiasis , lameness  due to tendon exhaustion , tumours , hoof cases,  and  prolapse.

Currently we have 12 adult donkeys in the sanctuary, six will be discharged but the other six [rescued from different challenging environments] will live in our sanctuary for life together with rescued foals from the abattoir.

Donkey medications in large clinics.

In a range of environments where donkeys work, they are abused through inhumane hard labour.

This is extremely inhumane handling resulting in skin wounds and much pain to donkeys.

In addition, we also attend to donkeys presented to our team  suffering from babesiosis,  trypanasomiasis, anemia,  worm infestation , tetanus,  fungal infection and eye infectious diseases.

Our call to donkey owners to come to our treatment camps in Bukombe, from January 2019 to April 2019, saw a total of 1,400 donkeys were presented and treated.

Alongside donkey medications, we also train and teach donkey owners on basic vet care like regular shaving the edge of wounds to make it visible and cleaning with soap and clean and safe water.

We teach them the signs and symptoms of sick donkeys like isolation and create a peer connection for reporting and detecting earl abnormal signs.

Providing education and training to local champions, helps to build confidence among themselves and when we leave, champions left behind will teach themselves.


Proper Carts construction program as a solution of ox yoke wounds a challenge.

Donkeys in Geita region serve in a range of work environments from kilns, households, markets, farms, forest to mines.

In all situations they work , they are over worked -going beyond five hours,  pulling over-loaded heavy  carts. We note pulling weights well beyond their capacity, more badly beaten and a yoke rubbing on their necks causing wounds more red and bleeding.

The practical solution is to change the way of harnessing, in January to April 2019 and we have managed to make a further 20 carts funded by AAA to use to overcome the ox yoke carts associated with terrible wounds and overloading.


Orphan foals.

The existence of donkey skin trade in Tanzania and Africa in general has got several implications, like environmental pollution, animal welfare angles how they are slaughtered, transported and abandoned orphan foals in the grounds of the slaughter houses.

Foals are not allowed to be slaughtered it is by law, but their mothers are slaughtered leaving foals behind with no food and parental care and eventually die of hunger.

We are determined to care for these animals in our sanctuary; we have six foals in place and more foals arriving in the sanctuary soon.

Undernourished donkeys

We rescue donkeys of this kind as a result of feeding on ratio while abandoned or due to prolonged drought or heavy rainfall where animals cannot feed.

In a sanctuary farm we have pasture units and a store of maize bran to make sure we feed animals of this kind.

Pasture farms help to be food sufficient for the whole year. AAA and TAHUCHA are soon to expand an area for irrigation to grow more pasture.

School Uniform Sponsorship Program.

TAHUCHA and AAA work with the whole community to bring change for both humans and animals. We see by helping people we will also help the animals.

Animal Aid Abroad with its partner Tanzania Humane Charity has managed to sponsor uniforms to 22 pupils in the first batch and 50 pupils in the second batch of January 2019.

School uniform sponsorship program aims to give children access to education but also as an incentive to pupils and families to value donkeys.

Thanks to Animal Aid Abroad Australia and its supporters for improving the lives of working donkeys in Bukombe [ Geita area] of Tanzania.

May 2019 new carts 6.jpg
May 2019 clinic cases.jpg
May 2019 troughs.jpg
School Uniforms April 2019.jpg
donkey foal from abattoir.jpg
Janet Thomas