× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Cartoons Lifestyle Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Ramadhan Special Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Another donkey abattoir opens in Turkana County, residents fear animals may be terminated

By Joan Letting | June 26th 2017
Workers slaughtering donkeys at Goldox export Slaughter house in Mogotio Baringo county on April 26,2016. PHOTO: KIPSANG JOSEPH

Turkana County is now home to Kenya’s third donkey abattoir following the opening of a Sh200 million facility in Lodwar.

The Zilzha Ltd Slaughterhouse at Nakwaalele will process donkey meat and hides for export to China and other countries in the Far East where they are said to be in high demand. The Turkana abattoir will compete with two others; one in Maraigushu, Nakuru County, and another in Mogotio, Baringo County. Jing Long, one of the Chinese operating the abattoir, said it was expected to provide employment to more than 200 locals when in full operation.

Mr Long said they were interested in donkey hides which are in high demand back in China because they are believed to have medicinal value.

“We boil donkey skin to produce gelatin. It is then used to make traditional Chinese medicine known as ejiao,” he said.

Ejiao is used to treat conditions such as anaemia, heavy menstruation periods, dry coughs, insomnia and acts as an anti-ageing agent and an aphrodisiac.

Despite the abattoir providing employment for locals and a ready market for donkey farmers, not everyone is happy.

Way of life

Some locals say the factory threatens the future of the beast of burden, with the area unable to sustain demand. “Our donkeys are in danger. The number of donkeys being slaughtered daily is high and it is a threat to our nomadic way of life. The donkey is the only means of transport,” said Peter Lolem, a resident.

Take a quick survey and help us improve our website!

Take a survey

“We are scared that our donkeys will now be stolen and sold to the Chinese. What will our women use for transport? What will our people eat? What happens if we lose all the donkeys to the slaughterhouse?” posed Sally Akoyo, another resident. Agency for Pastoralists Development Executive Director Sam Kimeli also expressed concern over the issue, saying the residents’ concerns should be taken seriously.

“The matter is very delicate. If the donkeys are slaughtered randomly we might lose the population,” said Mr Kimeli.

The  factories in Naivasha and Baringo have since their establishment struggled to maintain a steady supply of donkeys.

Share this story
To fight drought, involve communities
According to the latest information from the Meteorological Department, rainfall will be poorly distributed in April, May and June, and this will have a serious impact on agriculture
I eagerly await my baby's first steps
Spina Bifida, and though rare in the general population, it is the most common neural tube defect in the world