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KARTS + KIDS 4  DONKEYS - New project for working donkeys and kids in Tanzania

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 Left: ​Current cruel ox-yolk system used by hundreds of working donkeys in Tanzania

 Right: New cart system AAA and partner group TAWC will implement that will reduce wounds, pain and suffering to the working donkeys



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 Left: As an incentive for villagers to change to the new cart system, AAA will pay for the village children to attend school. 

 Right: One very happy mother knowing her daughter will now get an education.




Mbogwen district  in Tanzania has an estimate of  300 ox –yoke  carts pulled by donkeys. The welfare of donkeys is as shown in a table below:

Donkey welfare Parameters Score
1. Behaviour of donkeys and response to people Kicking is commonly seen because of owners cruelty in communicating with their donkeys. Most donkeys are whipped and beaten all the time to make them work.
2. Donkeys’ Wounds Wounds are commonly seen on the neck due to yoke cart harness and on the hips due to beating.
3. Donkeys’ Body condition score Is 2.5 , ideal is 3.
4. Donkeys’ sign of diseases and injuries Most of donkeys have no access to vet care
5. Owners knowledge and awareness The awareness of our people is little
6. Community attitude towards donkeys/beliefs They believe that donkeys  deserve beating in order to work. When they fall sick they are left to die.  They believe- it is most important the load of the lord is to reach its destination no matter if the donkey dies on arrival.
7. Donkeys life span Average seven years.
8. Carting used Ox yoke cart 100 percent.
9. Donkey owners with interest to change harness Some are willing.

Animal Aid Abroad will be funding TAWC to start a journey of substituting traditional carts pulled by donkeys from the neck instead of their chest. The funds will be used for training a pilot group of people in ward Masumbwe ward, involving five owning working donkeys and families with schooling children/teenagers.

Together with training, this pilot area, the fund will be used to make  five carts to provide each family which meets the condition of shifting from ox- yoke cart to breast cart and his family’s kids/ teenagers will be funded with school uniforms, shoes, exercise books and text books.

The funding requires each family to contribute 70,000Tsh each toward the purchase of the cart cart and to sign an agreement of not going back to original carts.

This technology of harnessing donkeys the same as oxen, is inappropriate as donkeys necks are small not like that of oxen.  The introduction of carts for donkeys to pull from the chest will eliminate neck wounds and reduce immense suffering and pain. 


  1. Scoping and mapping areas that require new cart system along with identifying and signing agreements.
  2. Training a pilot group on hitching, making and operating breast collar harness carting.
  3. Supervising and monitoring a pilot group to overcome challenges as they rise.
  4. Further training a pilot group on how to make cart saddle, and straps,  swingle  tree etc.
  5. Forming a net work of changing group harness and saving a portion of their earning from donkeys to recognize the contribution of donkeys to human livelihood.
  6. To promote this new technology by providing incentives through school uniforms, shoes, exercise books, and text books to kids families whose donkeys change to using breast collar harness cart.
  7. A pilot group of five people from five families will be trained and committed to use carts  pulling from the chest of donkeys.
  8. These five starting  families will be helped a big portion of costs of a cart
  9. The kids / teenagers of these families will be given school uniforms, shoes, exercise books and books to access better education.


  1. No more horrific painful wounds on donkeys necks.
  2. Families and kids will be happy as kids will access education through funding of necessary books, uniforms and shoes required to attend school.
  3. Obviously will attract other people to adopt a new way of harnessing
  4. The welfare of donkeys and their health will be improved.
  5. Appropriate cart design will be slowly adopted.
  6. Donkeys will live longer
  7. The social value of donkeys will increase and be recognized
  8. Kids will be ambassadors and change agents.


Life of a working donkey in Africa - Part A:


Life of a working donkey in Africa - Part B:


Part C - Educating to bring change for working donkeys in Africa:


Helping the Masai donkeys

mawo may2017 5This month, our partner group MAWO ran a full day clinic at a village in the Ngorongoro Crater area of Tanzania. They treated 153 donkeys for various ailments including wounds, de-worming, eye care etc. A major part of the clinic was also trimming a number of donkeys hooves that had become very overgrown. Johnson and his team successfully completed the job as well as trained a local villager to continue the work.

One poor donkey had a very nasty wound on its rear caused by an attack from a hyena and another donkey had cuts on his muzzle.

This was the first visit to this village by MAWO, funded by AAA with more calls from neighbouring villages for help. Word is spreading about the mobile clinics that not only treat the village donkeys but also educate the villagers on hoof care, first aid treatment and caring for their donkeys.

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Meru Animal Welfare Organization was founded in 2010 with the aim of promoting and improving the welfare of donkeys and other animals. Its main function is to advocate for animal’s rights especially those that are neglected by the society such as donkey.

The organization also carries out mobile outreach clinic to ensure proper animal health by promoting prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, disorders and injury in donkeys as a way to increase their competency in managing animal welfare challenges and assisting in improving the welfare of animals in Tanzania. MAWO has partnered with an Australian based animal welfare organization called Animal Aid Abroad Inc. (AAA) as charity organization dedicated to improving the living conditions and treatment of working animals around the world.


tanz july17 1Project Description:

We carried out a three day donkey mobile clinic in Kanda Sikiria and Makiba villages. At Kanda Sikiria, we spent two days and at Makiba one day. The clinic was able to directly reach 452 donkeys.


Activities Carried out:

The clinics were held on 12 to 14 July 2017. MAWO vets together with one government para-vet and four students from LITA Tengeru Animal Husbandry College participated in making the clinics a success. The students were to have a firsthand experience on donkey treatment which would boost their skills and knowledge.

Activities carried out included, ecto-parasite and endo-parasite control, wound treatment, eye treatment, hoof trimming and brief harness training.

  1. Ecto-parasite and endo-parasite control We carried out control of endo and ecto parasite through the use of ivermectin 1% which is effective against majority of these parasites. The drug is an injectable which is administered sub-cutaneously. Other than that, we wrote prescriptions for dip wash acaricides that the animal owners could buy over the counter to spray their donkeys.
    Ectoparasites caused alopecia, irritation, itching, anaemia and sdiseases which all made the animal uncomfortable and inefficient. Endoparasites on the other hand made the animal have low energy due to the high warm load and caused anaemia.
  2. Eye treatment 36 donkeys (about 8%) had eye infections and injuries. Most of these infections were as a result of microorganisms. We treated these infections with broad spectrum antibiotics and requested for follow up on severe cases do be done by the government para-vet.
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  3. Wound Treatment Wounds cases were quite common. 74% (334) donkeys had wounds. Majority of the wounds were at the flank, along the vertebral column, neck, point of hock and pastern. Possible causes of the wounds are poor harnessing practices, branding and trauma.
  4. Harness training The need to train the animal owners on proper donkey harnesses was inevitable. Donkeys that were brought for the clinic had wounds which were mainly as a result of poor harnessing. Thin ropes and no cushioning made traumatic wounds inevitable. Using our sample improvised harnesses we trained them on how to make the harnesses and the importance of using them.
  5. Hoof trimming There were no alarming cases on hoof care. The hooves were in a good condition. The terrain supported wear and hear hence were not overgrown.
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Challenges Faced:

  1. 74% of the donkeys treated had wounds where majority were as a result of poor harnessing. This shows a need to educate the people on making and using proper harnesses
  2. Most donkeys are overworked. This is as a result of the reduced donkey population due to theft cases.


Recommendation:tanz july17 5

MAWO Proposes a harness training program in order to tackle the issue of traumatic wounds as a result to poor harnessing.

Practical training on pack and cart harnesses is proposed to be done.



The people of Kanda Sikiria and Mkiba appreciated the aid granted to them and their animals. They pleased to be excused for the mistakes they did saying that they did not know a better way of doing it. They supported the idea of further trainings in order to completely remove the ignorance in matters related to donkey welfare.


Donkey Lifesaving Project January-March

Tanzania Animal Welfare Charity has continued to carry out lifesaving for donkeys in desperate need of our help in Misungwi, Tanzania.

We treated donkeys’ wounds related to beating or poor harnesses and deworming and other vet care for all donkeys, using the funds donated by Animal Aid Abroad . 

We are glad that the following projects were achieved:

  1. Mobile veterinary clinics for donkeys in rural areas where no access to vets along with humane education funded by ANIMAL AID ABROAD.
  2.  Strengthening Mabuki paravet students outreach scheme on equine medicine but focusing on helping donkeys in the communities through outreach schemes funded by ANIMAL AID ABROAD.
  3. Stopping donkey –skin trade project by raising awareness to donkeys owners and school kids audience that is to say live donkeys have value far more than dead. 
  4. Ongoing constructions of animal clinic facility for hospitalization of serious cases of animals.

tanz march17 2The main aim was to address the following problems:

  1. Little /no awareness among donkeys owners that their animals deserve vet care through doing and promoting caring culture.
  2. No access to vet for their donkeys for some rural populations by treating their animals.
  3. Bad attitudes towards donkeys, beating, overloading, donkeys skinning etc and we eliminate this through promoting caring culture.
  4. Bridging the gap if limited training areas for paravet students whilst helping donkeys in distress


- To improve human livelihood through improving the health/welfare of rural engine working donkeys.

- In so doing both donkeys and people will benefit for living longer and be economically strong.



  1. A total of 330 donkeys were served ,helped to improve their health and welfare.
  2. A total of 35 paravet students gained practical experience able to take a lead role in improving donkeys welfare/health
  3. Young audience are aware of basic needs for donkeys ( young audience minds have donkeys caring culture)
  4. A total of 35 Students/ in future paraprofessionals trained and practiced on equine vet care will take a lead role in improving donkeys welfare in their career lives


  1. Adults will be ambassadors of promoting a new culture of caring about donkeys and valuing them .
  2. People will be responsible for their donkeys for vet care and handling.


Tanzania Animal Welfare Charity through its donation from Animal Aid Abroad will continue to focus on improving donkeys welfare and health but we are still overwhelmed by animals in desperate need of veterinary input , drugs and funds to make us persist in our works and reach more.

We are working in communities where their awareness is little, and animal welfare is a new culture to both natives and governmental officials that includes government livestock officers


  1. To finish our surgical facility building and requesting as much as possible veterinary packages for all animals which need to be hospitalized and close medical attention to be done smoothly.
  2. 2. To be helped to reach more donkeys working in different working situation like kilns, forest, households, mining and in market on vet care.


We thank the ANIMAL AID ABROAD for funding Tanzania Animal Welfare Charity to make this happen for our donkeys.

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