In drought-prone developing countries, survival is difficult enough without the added burden of life-threatening heat stress and exhaustion. This is true not only for humans, but also for the equids who work alongside their owners to help them earn a livelihood.

In Ethiopia, which faces both drought and extreme poverty, working equids are a lifeline for their owners. They are crucial to carrying out household chores, plowing fields, taking goods to market, earning extra money so families can pay school fees for their children, and to purchase food, clothing, and medicine. Working equids haul construction materials, carry food and water to other livestock, transport relief supplies during natural disasters, and more, all of which contributes to the health and financial stability of individuals, families, and communities. But these equids often suffer from a myriad of problems which can be exacerbated by chronic dehydration.

Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, hopes to change the future for these animals, thereby helping the families who need them.

"When an equine in the developing world can’t work due to injury, illness, or death, it can have a devastating impact on the families who rely on it," explained David Jones, DVM, chairman of Brooke USA. "The single, most crucial step that we can take to alleviate the suffering of the animals in this part of Ethiopia and to ensure a livelihood for their poor owners is to provide access to water."

Soon 11,500 of these important animals will have lifetime access to the water via a project bein