Dr. Kebba Daffeh
Project Manager The Gambia
For many years, Dr. Kebba Daffeh worked at the Department of Livestock Services in The Gambia in the areas of animal health and production and food safety quality. The trained vet grew up in a large family home in Bakau, Gambia with sheep, chicken, dogs and a cat and had therefore been an animal lover since early childhood. In 2016, he started working as a VETS UNITED project manager in The Gambia and is grateful that he is able to pursue his passion in animal welfare in his daily life. He particularly enjoys working with students in and outside the classroom providing care for animals and creating awareness in communities.
Background: The Gambia, Africa
Area: 11.295 km²
Population: approx. 2 million
Official language: English
152 out of 175 on Human Development Index
About 2 million domestic and farm animals, including:
About 300,000 cattle
About 500,000 goats and sheep
About 65,000 donkeys and 22,000 horses
About 15,000 pigs
About 1 million poultry
(Source: Livestock Census 2016)
WTG: What are the duties in your position for VETS UNITED?
KB: As Vets United Project Manager in the Gambia, I am responsible for the delivery of Animal Welfare lectures at both the University of The Gambia and at Gambia College. This also includes weekly practical classes with University and College students at the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust Animal Health and Welfare Centre at Makasutu. Besides that, I also provide technical support to the Gambia Horse and Donkey. In addition I serve as advisor to the Animal welfare Advocates Association. My responsibilities also include creating awareness about animal welfare, disseminating information and creating visibility of the work of Vets United as well as spreading information about Vets United online resource in The Gambia and the sub region.
WTG: How would you describe the animal welfare situation in the country?
KB: In most parts of The Gambia, there is inadequate capacity and low level of awareness of stakeholders on animal welfare. This could be attributed to a number of factors including the high level of poverty and illiteracy among the farmers, poor management practices, high disease prevalence, inadequate access to veterinary services and inadequate legal framework. Animal welfare has never been a priority for the Department of Livestock Services which has been focused on prevention and control of infectious diseases. There is inadequate technical capacity of the Department of Livestock Services Field workers on animal welfare. This could be attributed to absence of a curriculum on animal welfare at both Gambia College and UTG. However, this is being addressed with technical support of WTS Vets United Gambia Project by the introduction of an animal welfare syllabus into the curriculum of both the University of the Gambia and College in September 2016. The advent of the Vets United Project in The Gambia has placed the country in a vantage position to improve animal welfare with hundreds of graduates of the course now serving at various levels in different institutions across the country. Animal Welfare has now taken a central stage in the national discuss on livestock development. For the first time ever, animal welfare has been in-cooperated into the annual work plan of the Department of Livestock Services in 2019. It is for this reason, that Vets United has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation in March 2018 by the Gambia College for its partnership and immense contribution in enhancing animal health and welfare education at the College.
WTG: What are your hopes for the Animal health and welfare situation in the country in 5 to 10 years?
KB: In five to ten years from now, there will be a critical mass of trained animal welfare graduates across every region of The Gambia. Furthermore, the incorporation of the animal welfare course into the University curriculum and the mainstreaming of animal welfare into the day to day work of the Department of Livestock Services are solid signs of sustainability that assure hope for a brighter future for Animal welfare in The Gambia.