Smasha Block has been a difficult place to work in – from day one actually. There are literally hundreds of donkeys that are used to cart water to residents living in shacks. They have a hard life. We try to make it easier by supplying the kindest bits that we can, replacing dangerous and ill-fitting harnessing, de-worming the donkeys regularly, and educating the owners and drivers in equine welfare.
We have been working there for a couple of years now. Our assistance has helped, most definitely, but the number of donkeys has steadily increased as the informal area has grown. More people, more shacks, more water = more donkeys. We need to have more of a regular presence there.
World Horse Welfare (UK) are assisting us with financing the clinics, which is a tremendous help. Our partnership is going to benefit so many horses and donkeys in South Africa.
These donkeys have been seen regularly by our staff at clinics in Smasha Block. Their condition is not bad, because we have dewormed them, and given vitamin supplements where necessary, but we are concerned with the unsuitability of the carts – the weight is too heavy, and unevenly distributed. Samson keeps an eye out for lameness
Solly, Samson and Betty of HHCU spent 7 days there earlier this month. Our aim is to establish a working relationship with role players in each of the areas that we cover – Community leaders, Government officials, political leaders – to raise awareness of what we are trying to achieve, and establish an education programme. This will enable us to work with and be accepted by the community, and so improve the welfare of equines and their owners.
Caring for equines is a costly operation, as any horse owner knows! It costs us over a thousand ZA Rand a month to keep one horse at the Unit. It is not possible for us to keep horses on a permanent basis - we would love to be a retirement center - but we have to spend our precious funds where they are needed most, and that is to bring in needy cases, rehabilitate, and re- home!
We cannot do this without your donations.