Working Donkeys in Drought-Stricken Kenya Need Help


People around the globe rely on horses, mules, and donkeys as part of their livelihoods and for the everyday tasks of living.

In parts of Kenya, donkeys are essential to help transport water from streams and other waterways to people’s homes, sometimes many miles away. A serious drought in the region has caused the government to declare a national disaster, but emergency relief is prioritized for humans, not the working equines who help them.

Brooke is a UK-based charity that helps working horses and donkeys by assisting the people who own and use the animals. They provide training on care and veterinary procedures along with specialized skills like proper tack and equipment fitting. In response to the drought in Kenya, Brooke’s team in Nairobi have stepped up their efforts to bring water to 13,100 donkeys in the affected areas. The drought has also had an impact on the availability of food for the donkeys, so the team will also be bringing hay and feed to approximately 800 donkeys.

“Working donkeys are vital to people’s livelihoods here,” says Dil Peeling, Director of Animal Welfare and Sustainability at Brooke. “They carry water and food for families, fuel and building materials. They help people earn the money they use to put food on the table and children in school.”

Brooke estimates that by feeding and watering these donkeys in the drought-afflicted regions of Kenya, they will be helping 80,000 people who rely on them.

The organization has set up an emergency appeal on the charitable crowdfunding site to help finance the extra efforts in Kenya. To help, visit and read more about Brooke’s work around the globe at

Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky.


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