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Request for Donkey Cart

One project for which no donors were found several years ago remains as an urgent need: To obtain two donkeys and to start using them as draft animals, together with a donkey-cart.

They would be used all year round for ferrying goods from the shops for the guesthouse and, more importantly, they are needed at the time of planting.

Our manageress is tired of having to chase after the tractor driver, who demands hefty payment in advance and then does not turn up. After following up on him several times to no avail she finally threatened legal action. Only then did he begin part of the job that he had already been paid to do!

The problem is that there are very few tractors around and everyone needs them, so the drivers can do more or less whatever they like.

As well, the soil here is so thin that it would be much better to treat it gently, as animals do. However securing the use of oxen is equally difficult during the time of planting, and they are often sick. So donkeys are the best possible solution, as specialists have been advocating for a long time.

We worked out a system with the school, where they teach animal management, and the cost was around US $3000 for the donkeys, their gear, training and transport,   and another $15 000 for their stables and barn, the donkey cart, and the house for the keeper, so that all would be safe from thieves.

Ideally we would buy one male and one young female donkey, and so have offspring. They could be hired out and would be self-sufficient in paying the salary of their keeper.

The idea behind it, as with all we do, is to provide a model for the villagers. Of course, they could not spend as much on the housing, but then they do not live right smack on the Great East Road, the road that leads from South Africa to Tanzania and beyond.


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