Tikobane Trust making a difference in Zimbabwe

AAA works with partner group Tikobane Trust in Zimbabwe, where donkeys are often overworked and mistreated by their owners.

The sight of donkeys pulling heavily loaded carts full of firewood and being beaten for their efforts are the norm.

During the month of June Tikobane Trust got in contact with 34 cart owners and firewood traders to educate and encourage them to load their carts at humane levels and to use single yoke harnesses which are much kinder to the donkeys.

They also visited the firewood trades market where they treated 76 donkeys, mostly for wounds from beating and improper harnessing. They advised the traders not to abuse their donkeys through beating and to rest them regularly. Many argued that their only source of income was through selling firewood however the team worked on changing their mindset towards realising that the donkeys are the ones that help them earn that income, and if looked after well, it can be a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship.

The group also found that it is more effective to go out to where the animals live and work, rather than calling the public to a central meeting point, as they realised that people only bring their healthy animals for treatment, they leave the badly beaten and injured ones at home.

The group are committed to continuing their work, treating donkeys who need help and educating communities about the importance of the single yoke harness and how it is more humane for the animals and allows them to carry their loads more effectively.

Janet Thomas