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Mwingi donkey owners hold a fete to mark International Donkey Day

Kitui County is set to formulate a policy to guide the county on donkey welfare and the best way to take care of the beast of burden which was under immense threat of extinction following the opening of a donkey abattoir at Kithyoko in the neighboring Machakos County.
Kitui CECM in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Stephen Mbaya Kimwele speaking at Musila Gardens yesterday. He said the county was working on a donkey policy that will be approved by the Executive once completed. MWINGI TIMES/Boniface Mwaniki

The plans to come up with the policy were confirmed by the Kitui CECM in charge of Agriculture Stephen Mbaya Kimwele who spoke at Mwingi town yesterday, during a fete organized by the Catholic NGO, Caritas to mark national donkey day.

Speaking during an interview after the event, Mr. Kimwele said that he was working on the final touches of the policy and he was set to table it before the county executive for approval.

He pointed out that the donkey as a beast of burden held a key economic place in Kitui, being the sole source of livelihood for most households in the county, hence there was the need for the animals to be protected and taken care of in a better way.
Farmers having their donkeys checked out by vets.MWINGI TIMES/Boniface Mwaniki

Florence Ndeti who is the Director of Caritas in Kitui County said that women groups in Kitui had benefited much, with the best group which was awarded during yesterday’s fete having raised over half a million shillings through table banking on money emanating from proper utilization of donkeys.

Ms Ndeti said that Caritas Kitui was not only key to promoting donkey welfare but they have also empowered women groups to engage in other income-generating activities like the production of sisal and local manufacturing of household detergents like soap.

Ephantus Mwangangi who is a veterinary service provider in Mwingi urged farmers in Kitui to give donkeys first priority just like other animals, as they are of great help, if well utilized.

He urged them to immediately seek medical help from service providers whenever their donkeys depict any abnormal behaviors so that their animals could be assisted in time before the disease gets out of hand.

Rosephine Mwanzi Maithya, a donkey farmer, thanked Caritas Kitui for their efforts in educating farmers on donkey welfare and treating their donkeys.

She said that donkeys play a key role in their families ranging from providing school fees for their school-going children, as well as fetching water for their household use.


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