Farmers in Mt Elgon Constituency in Bungoma County are up in arms following constant theft of their donkeys by unknown thugs.
Addressing the press at Kapsokwony in Mt. Elgon during celebrations to mark this year’s World donkey day, the Director Send a Cow Kenya Titus Sagala, said that there are thugs who raid Mt. Elgon region and steal donkeys which they sell in neighboring Uganda.
He added that local traders also steal and kill donkeys every year so that their skins can be used as an ingredient for a traditional Chinese medicine.
Sagala said that the practice has lowered the number of donkeys in the area and asked local donkey farmers to be vigilant since donkeys play a key role in the society.
He said that due to the poor terrain of Mt. Elgon, farmers who want to transport their farm produce from their farms to the market use donkeys.
“Most of the time farmers in Mt. Elgon use donkeys to transport their farm produce to Chwele and other markets because vehicles cannot access the slopes of the mountain,” he said.
Sagala noted that the last census conducted in Mt. Elgon listed 9,000 donkeys. The number has since dropped drastically because of the thieves who steal the animals to sell to Chinese companies for slaughter.
County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Mathews Makanda, says there is need for the county government to come up with a policy and regulations to monitor the movement of donkeys to ensure that the safety and welfare of the beasts of burden is catered for.
“Every year this day comes and goes, we come here address and leave without finding a lasting solution to this great menace, I think what the government should do is draft tough laws to tame donkey slaughtering in Kenya,” Makanda added.
Selina Chebet a farmer in Mt. Elgon asked the government to help construct better roads in the region.