Kitui County is among the counties with the highest population of donkeys. Residents use the animals to mostly transport water especially when the water sources are a distance. The recent donkey slaughter ban has acted as a relief for the residents.
The donkeys have been facing numerous challenges with some being stolen. In December 2019, A section of Kitui residents urged both National and County governments to ban the business of donkey meat and hides saying that they have incurred losses as people steal their donkeys.
Speaking then during the meeting with officers from Caritas under the Catholic diocese of Kitui spearheading Tunza Punda Akutunze program in partnership with Brooke Kenya, they lamented losing their donkeys saying if the government does not prohibit or regulate the selling of donkey meat and skin in Kenya, in years to come there might be no donkeys in Kitui County.
They demanded the closure of a slaughterhouse at Kithyoko market that borders Kitui and Machakos, saying it has has led to donkey depopulation in Kitui county as donkeys are stolen and slaughtered there.
In February, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries CS Peter Munya banned the slaughter of donkeys and gave the four existing slaughterhouses one month. The CS noted the slaughtering had resulted in increased theft of donkeys.
On Monday, Kitui farmers at Kithyoko thanked the CS for the ban. Led by Peter Munguti an activist, they praised the Government for the move.
“It is a relief for us after the CS banned the slaughter of donkeys not only in Kithyoko but across the country. if you see anyone slaughtering a donkey it is against the law.” Munguti said.