Buy a Donkey a Drink
Brooke USA launches “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign to ease the suffering of 11,500 horses, donkeys and mules.
In drought-prone developing countries, survival is difficult enough without the added burden of life-threatening heat stress and exhaustion. That’s true for humans and also for the equine animals who labour alongside them in poverty-ravaged areas to help them earn a livelihood.
In Ethiopia, which is plagued by both drought and extreme poverty, working equines are a lifeline for their owners. They are crucial to carrying out backbreaking household chores, plowing fields, taking goods to market, earning extra money so families can pay school fees for their children, and to purchase food, clothing, and medicine.
Above/Below: The new 50-foot troughs will be located in busy market areas and allow up to 340 animals to drink before refilling.
Above: A badly harnessed horse in Ethiopia. The Brooke is the world’s largest international equine welfare charity and works to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys, mules, and the people who depend on them.
Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, is about to change the future for these animals, thereby helping the families who need them.
The troughs will allow as many as 340 horses, donkeys, and mules to quench their thirst with each filling, and will allow other livestock such as cattle and camels to receive life-saving water as well.
This project also includes training and facilitating “water committees” among the animal owners in the target area who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the water supply service. They have an important role in ensuring that the equines are properly benefitting from the water troughs. The project will also train the committee members on equine welfare so that they can disseminate information and educate other equine owners and users coming to the water troughs on equine welfare issues.
Above: Overloaded donkeys (above) hauling straw from Hosa’ina to Addis Ababa, a distance of about 231 km by road.
Above: In a country where everyone is struggling, people are willing to improve the lives of their horses, donkeys and mules because they know that without the animals their own lives will be much worse.
“As much as the animals will benefit from regular access to water, it is their owners who will be the ultimate beneficiaries because their working partners will be healthier, happier, and better able to continue their important jobs,” concluded Dr. Jones.
The fundraising goal is $98,000 over the next three months, which will allow construction of the water troughs to begin at once and be completed in phases by the end of the year.
For more information on Brooke USA, go to www.BrookeUSA.org.
Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity. For more than 80 years, the Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys, and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. The Brooke’s scientifically proven, practical, and sustainable solutions to enormous welfare challenges improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, and Central America. Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in the developing world. To learn more visit www.BrookeUSA.org.
Photos courtesy of www.BrookeUSA.org.
Main Photo: A donkey is often a poor family’s sole means of support.