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Donkeys bring vital water to millions

Words by Smiley Team

For the 1.3 million residents of the city of Nouakchott in Mauritania, Northwest Africa, the daily visits from a fleet of 70,000 donkeys are an essential service.

There is no piped water in their city, and so the donkeys deliver water to their homes, door to door, every day.

The Nouakchott donkeys are part of a global workforce of more than 200 million animals - also including horses, mules, camels and elephants - which play a vital role in the world’s poorest communities, through activities like ploughing fields and delivering food and water.

By doing the jobs of trucks, tractors and taxis, and providing basic necessities, these animals ensure the survival of millions of families and support the livelihoods of at least 600 million people worldwide.

Animal charity SPANA (Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) are today celebrating International Working Animal’s Day, and are calling on people to show support for the animals who work every day, often without any veterinary help and without enough food or water.

Dr Ben Sturgeon, Director of Veterinary Services at SPANA, said: “Working animals have vital roles and, by transporting food and water, they ensure that communities in the world’s poorest places can survive.

‘These animals work tirelessly, often in harsh conditions and sweltering heat. But, many animals do not have access to the food and water they need, and veterinary treatment is simply not available in so many areas.

“SPANA is working to improve the lives of these animals across the world, ensuring they are not forgotten and that their welfare needs are met, including through water projects and by providing vital veterinary care.

“On International Working Animal Day, please give these animals the recognition they deserve and support our work helping these loyal animals.”

SPANA provides lifesaving support for working animals through projects including building and filling water troughs, delivering emergency feeding programmes for malnourished animals, and ensuring free veterinary treatment is available to sick and injured animals in 28 countries. SPANA teams are also educating owners about their animals’ dietary needs.

To learn more about their work see the SPANA website or follow them on Twitter.



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This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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