Madam Terence Tienaah, the Upper West Regional Manager of ActionAid Ghana has asked owners of donkeys to appreciate and treat them with dignity.
She said this in Challu in the Sissala East Municipality at the weekend to commemorate what she called the, “World’s Donkey’s Day”, a day set aside to draw the world’s attention to the plight of donkeys. The theme for the day was “The Donkey My Friend”.
“Let’s all thank the donkeys for the work that they do for us. For the donkeys to serve us better, we have to take good care of them.
“We are happy to see the offspring of some of the donkeys we supplied to you some years back, and see them reduce your workload as women and that excites us,” Madam Tienaah said.
She announced that officials of the Veterinary Services have been brought to educate them on how to maintain the donkeys.
Mr Osman Kanton, Programmes Director of Action for Sustainable Development (ASUDEV), advised the owners of donkeys against negative myths around the donkey, which made them maltreat the donkeys instead of treating them as a friendly animal.
Kuoro Robert Hillia Siamui, the Divisional Chief of Challu, noted that in 1999 when ActionAid Ghana came to Tumu, they had never turned their back on the Challu community and the entire population.
“I remember the literacy school ActionAid brought to us and their endless effort to reduce poverty among women and the subsequent introduction of donkeys, which has helped women on their farms”, the chief recalled.
The Challu Chief commended ActionAid for making it possible to pass on the offspring to other women who all now own donkeys for their household chores.
Mr Nicholas Kuunkyuri, a Veterinary Officer, reminded the donkey owners that the animals were like human beings who also had blood but cannot talk.
He advised them to seek medical attention for their donkeys every quarter and report any changes they see in the donkeys to the Veterinary Officers.
He advised them to remember, “to tie their donkey at home so they don’t get into people’s farms to destroy”.
Mr Kuukyuri also urged the owners of donkeys not to overload the donkeys like motorcycles whilst the whipping of donkeys should be reduced.
Donkeys have become economically useful to the Sissala women that they have been allocated a station at the Tumu market.
Donkey owners after the awareness made a pledge to keep their donkeys safe and protect them.
Madam Williatu Ibrahim, a mother of five, complained about donkey theft in the community and called for the community to help them save their donkey from being stolen.