Equine Field Trip Report

Today, Wednesday the 16th of February, I went down to Nazlet El Seman to distribute the remaining of the looted sacks, as well as the locals generous donations to make up for the lootings (36 sacks total). Unfortunately the other volunteers could not make it, as they were busy in preparation for a surprise visit from a very special guest the coming day. But I was not alone, as I had the aid and support of many local horse stables.

I arrived at Sondos Stables at 11 AM, and we set up our booth and prepared for distribution. Within minutes there were over 20 horse owners with their horses lined up to receive rations. The remaining of the looted sacks (10 sacks) finished within the first 30 minutes of distribution, and had it not been for the generous 26 sacks that the locals gathered, donated, and prepared, we would have had a serious shortage.

We managed to distribute almost 300 meals for the animals, and had to turn dozens of horses away as the food supply had depleted in under 4 hours. We are in dire need of funding for food! If it weren’t for the locals donations and tremendous effort with preparing and distributing the food, today would have not been possible, and I am unsure how many of the animals, horses particularly, would have made it through the night. It was truly inspirational to see their appreciation, organization, hard work, and their willingness to have an improved and sustainable system.

To achieve this system, I believe we need to continue to provide treatments and feeds until the economy and the tourism industry start to recover. Once life starts to return to normal in terms of income for the locals, we should start to gradually withdraw the emergency aid, as they become capable of providing for their families and animals on their own.

In the mean time it is important to start an educational campaign teaching the locals the proper care for their animals, and to emphasize the relation between a healthy animal and more income. The animals are still very emaciated, and many still have wounds that need to continue being treated. Once the large organizations are fully committed to manage and handle this hige feeding and treatment operation, ESMA can start the education campaign with the leadership of Beth Sartain.

Before leaving Nazlet El Seman, I decided to pay a visit to the infamous “Graveyard”. It was very upsetting to see that besides all of our efforts, there were more fallen. There were 6 fresh corpses, some covered with Hay in an attempt to hide the body. Although a massive improvement from the original 50 horses found, it as an indication that still more efforts, medical care, and food is needed.

We will be distributing more rations and treating more animals again on Friday morning, as of 10 30 AM onwards. Pictures and updates promised as always.

Thank you to all of you following us and supporting our work.

Alaa Sharshar
Deputy Volunteer Coordinator – ESMA

Pictures available on our Facebook group:

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