MOST ARE LIMPING

Farmers' agony as donkeys affected by foot rot disease

Donkeys are used to ferry rice, water and firewood to the market and homes.

In Summary

• Veterinary officers in the area have blamed the problem on the heavy rains, which continue to pound the region.

• Cynthia Peter said their crusade to advocate for proper ways of caring for donkeys had been successful. 

A donkey farmer in Mwea, Kirinyaga county on Sunday
THREATENED BY DISEASE: A donkey farmer in Mwea, Kirinyaga county on Sunday
Image: /REUBEN GITHINJI

Donkey farmers in Embu and Kirinyaga counties are worried because most of their animals have been affected by the foot rot disease.

Farmers have said the disease has drastically reduced their donkeys’ capacity to carry loads. Most of the donkeys are now limping.

Donkeys are used to ferry rice, water and firewood to the market and homes.

Veterinary officers in the area have blamed the problem on the heavy rains, which continue to pound the region.

Veterinarian Peter Murimi said on Sunday that when donkeys are exposed to extreme mud and wet surroundings, they become prone to foot rot disease. 

He appealed to farmers to keep their donkeys in dry environments to reduce their vulnerability to foot rot and other infections.

The officer spoke during a clinic organised by the Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies (Kendat).

Cynthia Peter, a donkey welfare officer at Kendat, said their crusade to advocate for proper ways of caring for donkeys had been successful as they are not flogged or overworked as it used to happen in the past. 

Cyrus Gitonga, Mwea Donkey Owners Association chairman and donkey owner Dennis Muchira, welcomed donkeys’ slaughtering ban. They said the move will enable the number of donkeys to increase.

Edited by A.N