Kenya Network for Draught Animal Technology

Kenya Network for Draught Animal Technology
Empowering resource poor communities for sustainable development

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KENDAT is a Kenya registered non-governmental organisation rural development (NGO) founded in 1990.  KENDAT operations centre around project implementation as a basis of adding substance to the networking effort.  KENDAT is also an active service provider to assignments, project and development interventions of organizations ranging from end-user to research and donor organizations, nationally, regionally and internationally.

KENDAT operates as a Network of animal power utilization practitioners including socio-economists, technologists, artisans, animal clinicians, farmers and farmer organizations, manufacturers and other NGO’s.  The KENDAT mode of operation is one of participatory methodologies, within the networking philosophy.  This provides capacity for action, with unlimited access to a pool of a wide range of professionals and practitioners.  The approach makes it easy to quickly set up appropriate teams, to handle each task and project activity while ensuring appropriate output.  KENDAT's strength is in capacity to mobilize and implement at ground-level with appropriate contacts.  Ability to do this without loss of the bigger scope and higher level mobilization is indeed a unique aspect of this multi-disciplinary organization.  Ground level contacts may be formal sector operators or informal sector ones, be they individuals, end-user organizations, churches and other CBOs, rural transport service operators, SME artisans and other business people.

KENDAT routinely trains farmers, rural transporters, paravets and village level artisans in business development and management for general agricultural mechanization, animal powered tillage and transport operations.  Proper equipment use and humane utilization of animals (nutrition and harnessing) for informed efficient and expanded range of economic operations defines the core scope of training curricula.  KENDAT also runs a workshop with a DAT accessories (harnesses, panniers, improved yokes etc.) production unit and has privately run equipment and accessories outlets.

KENDAT has a conveniently (DTU and KENDAT trained) group of artisans who assist with the local production of light and sturdy animal carts for oxen, donkeys and camels.  From collaborative work with organizations such as Triple W Engineering of Naro Moru and FARM Africa, carts for pastoralists, complete with puncture-proof tyres have come to be.

KENDAT's active role and example regionally has seen the Executive Co-ordinator (EC) competitively elected to be the ATNESA (Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa) Chairperson.   This position gives the EC a sit in the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD) Advisory Committee and another in the Africa Conservation Tillage (ACT) Network among other fora for exchange in rural development matters.

KENDAT's mission statement is:

To promote animal traction technologies and empower users with capacity to make informed choice towards opportunities for productive partnerships with their animals and development supporters for sustained business development and economic growth.

KENDAT's prime client is the end user.  KENDAT believes advanced engineering and business management principles can be appropriately applied for the benefits of the rural disadvantaged communities.  KENDAT believes the poor have diligent practical experience and knowledge, un-surmountable energies and patience, around which permanent solutions can be sought and found.  This however needs patience resources and genuine involvement of end-users at centre stage.

KENDAT aims and objectives

KENDAT’s framework and guidelines of operation denote the need to provide, on sustainable basis, access to knowledge and practice through:

¨      networking with resourceful individuals and organizations in promotion, to pave way for deeper understanding and expanded use of DAT and other labour-saving technologies through training and dissemination, with appropriate specialist support.

¨      providing technological input, advice and procurement information and access capacity for the wide range of animal drawn equipment and accessories for tillage and transport, while building local capacity and sustainable equipment production where possible.

¨      creating advocacy for sustainable DAT and rural transport development by sensitising policy makers on grassroots concerns in the institutional and business management of DAT and rural transport services;

¨      strengthening community participation in decision making and especially working towards the empowerment of women as resource managers and key actors in the food production chain.  This is a pre-requisite for accelerated poverty eradication

¨      acting as the informed voice on DAT issues in Kenya in link with other networks in the Eastern and Southern African region under the Animal Traction  Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA) umbrella;

KENDAT's operational theme is :

"Empowering Resource Poor Communities for Sustainable Development"

 KENDAT documentation and referral service:

KENDAT has an headquarters with a show-room for the full range of animal drawn equipment.  The headquarters has facilities and training capacity for workshop, in-class, and field work.  The headquarters also acts as a referral centre for DAT farmers and other agricultural mechanization enthusiasts.  A data base for DAT work and a documentation centre with unique publications in rural development issues is operational.

Achievements in Project and Consultancy Work

Low-Cost Animal-Drawn Carts Project

Collaborative management of the University of Warwick’s, Development Technology Unit's (DTU) Low-Cost Animal-Drawn Carts Project (1997-1999). Project areas were Machakos, Kirinyaga, Kajiado and Limuru (in Kenya), and Tororo in Uganda.  This particular project trained artisans to manufacture low cost carts in their own workshops and supported them to develop a business out of the venture.

Draught Animal Power Promotion and Support in Laikipia District

SARDEP (Semi-Arid Rural Development Project of SNV: Netherlands Development Organization) promotional and training activities for Laikipia District (1997-2000).  Farmers and rural transporters (12 No.) were trained as trainers, while and two artisans were trained to provide back-up service.  Liaison centres and shops were set up in Nanyuki and Nyahururu, a credit scheme conducted for equipment and accessory purchases and follow-up back-up service to trainers provided as graduates trained colleagues.   Recent work 2000-01 concentrated on building entrepreneurs to service others at local level. KENDAT in 2002 is collaborating with SARDEP Kajiado and Laikipia, and ITDG in the Rural Transport Services Project.

Capacity Building for DAT Users

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Agricultural Environment Programme (AEP) of South Nyanza.  Animal traction training in tillage and transport for programme extension agents.

Conservation Tillage Trials in Kenya

KCTI Conservation Agriculture Pilot Trials are on-going with SIDA/RELMA technical and management support to the conservation tillage pilot trials from 1998 - present, under the Kenya Conservation Tillage Initiative (KCTI). Other activities are such as training of farmers and animals, training in conservation tillage equipment handling and general environmental preservation, conducting promotional field-days, key-stakeholder exposure and media campaigns on the gains of conservation agriculture. Business training in conservation tillage equipment manufacture and marketing by jua kali artisans is also a key aspect. KCTI is spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture, RELMA, KARI, University of Nairobi and KENDAT.

Training Women Farmers on Conservation Agriculture

KCTI Africa Conservation Tillage Network (ACT) Component Attn: Dr. Kurt Steiner, GTZ Eschborn and Martin Bwalya ACT Co-ordinator, Institute of Environment Studies, Harare Zimbabwe. Training women farmers to practise conservation agriculture, including use of cover crops and integration with fruit-tree farming in collaboration with ICRAF's Integrating Tree Crops into Farming Systems (ITFSP) Project. Farm based training, farmer to farmer learning experience and extension/dissemination package development for smallholders. Helping farmers prove the benefits of conservation agriculture to themselves. (2000 - 2003).

Sustained Efficiency of Utilisation of Donkeys in Kenya


KENDAT is implementing a Brooke Hospital for Animals funded project on Donkey Welfare. This is a 3 year project worth about £100,000 to implement practical solutions to donkey welfare and management in rural transport services and tillage in Kenya (2001-2003). This project is in collaboration with DTU of University of Warwick, Coventry (Dr. Colin Oram - Artisan, Design and Training Support) and the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (CTVM) of the University of Edinburgh, UK (Dr. David Smith, Animal Nutrition and Management Support).


Nkone Bridge Project

This project started in March 2001, under Gender and Rural Transport Initiative (MWENGO/GRTI, Rural Travel and Transport Programme of the World Bank). It is a community based rehabilitation and offers a toolkit assessment for best practice of community involvement in rural transport services and provision.
Rural Transport Services (RTS) Project 


This is applied research in technology for intermediate means of transport (IMT): engineering and infrastructure, socio-economics (including gender), logistics, environment, institutional and policy interventions in rural transport with a livelihoods perspective. It is a 3 year project worth £350,000 with varying terms supported by DFID/IUDD - (Infrastructure and Urban Development Department (UK)), Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and Natural Resources International Limited (NRIL, UK). Extension, training and development support is provided by Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG).

Click here for more information on the KENDAT RTS Project
KENDAT Consultancy assignments

 -    FARM Africa power measurements for camels in collaboration with SLU: measurement of animal physiological parameter readings (heart beat, speed and pull forces) to determine camel endurance in terms of day work hours and optimal loading in transport, pulling a cart (June 1999)

-         FAO Regional Office (Accra Ghana: Attn: John Ashburner).  Agricultural power availability and mechanization projection into the year 2015 and associated development implications in the agricultural sector of Kenya (2000 - 2001).

-         Leading host of the first World Bank, Rural Travel and Transport Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa (RTTP), Regional IMT Initiative (RIMTI) international experts meeting at UN HABITAT, Nairobi.  June 1999 (Attn: Dr. George Banjo RTTP Harare) 

-         European Commission OAU/IBAR (Organization of Africa Unity - International Bureau for Animal Research), FITCA (Farming in Tsetse Controlled Areas) Project.  The animal traction study: on the role and place for animal traction in the tsetse control programme in 5 FITCA districts of Western Kenya (Teso, Bungoma, Busia, Siaya and Bondo).  Enhanced animal powered farming and transport services for improved land productivity hence return to farming, re-stocking programme and subsequent bush clearing to destroy tsetse habitat for economic growth (June- September 2000). 

-         SARDEP - Kajiado donkey carts for Maasai women (September - December, 2000) under the famine relief programme.  32 double donkey carts complete with KENDAT collar harnesses with puncture-proof tyres and dust-proof plastic bearings.

-         Co-host of the Gender and Rural Transport Initiative (GRTI) international workshops in Nairobi.  Organizers of field-visits to project operation areas in community based rural and urban centres. November, 2000 and November 2001.

-         SIDA/RELMA technical and management support, conducting field-work for conservation tillage pilot trials (1998 - present) under the Kenya Conservation Tillage Initiative (KCTI).  Disbursing and accounting for funds with collaborators, reporting field work and participatory research findings as lessons and inputs to a publishable dissemination package.

KENDAT Management Team and Project Operational Support Staff

Executive Co-ordinator: Dr. Pascal G. Kaumbutho, Chartered Engineer, MIAgrE 
(Chairman: Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa: ATNESA) 
Technical Manager    Dr. Joseph M. Mutua, Engineer 
Extension and Liaison Officer  Mr Fredrick Ochieng Oluoch Engineer 
Finance Officer Mr Mugumo Nderitu CPAII 
Administrative Officer Mr G.E. Chweya, Chief Technologist, UON 
Animal Power Technologist Mr Antony Karimi, Technologist UON 

KCTI Steering Committee 
Mwamzali Shiribwa Ministry of Agriculture (Chairperson) 
Elijah K. Biamah University of Nairobi 
Johan Rockstrom IHE Netherlands/RELMA 
Soren Damgaard-Larsen Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA/SIDA) 
Kithinji Mutunga Ministry of Agriculture 
Joseph Mutua KENDAT 
Valentine Miheso MONSANTO 
Pascal Kaumbutho KENDAT 
D. Gachene Green Manure Network  
A.W. Nzavi KARI Kisii 
Hortensia Mwangi National Agricultural Research Laboratories/KARI 
Joseph Tanui Integrating Tree-crops in Farming Systems Project (ITFSP/ICRAF) 

KENDAT Conservation Tillage Trials field assistance is provided by: 
Kisuna Muteti Ministry of Agriculture (Kalama Division) 
Pastor Joseph Mutua Farmer - Iiuni Machakos 
Paul Wamae Enumerator and artist, KENDAT (Laikipia)
BHA Donkey Welfare Project Specific Staff
Dr. David Kiai Mwangi Veterinarian
Mr. Alexander Gichobi Animal Health Assistant
Mr Anthony. Kamau Animal Health Assistant  

Rural Transport Services Project Implementation Consultants 
Ms Cecilia Njenga-Kinuthia Socio-economics and Gender, HABITAT 
Dr. Wilson S.K. Wasike Infrastructure and Economic Services, Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis 
Mr Kenneth Atieno Policy and Planning Support, ECOTEC Consultants 
Mr S. Kasuku Urban planning support, GoK Department of Urban Planning 
Prof. Oluoch Kosura Agricultural Economics Support, University of Nairobi 
Mr P. Marenya Agricultural Economics Support, University of Nairobi 
Mr F. Muchiri (Environment and Impact Assessment) Mace Environment Consultants 
Mr Peter Njenga Policy, Institutions and Planning, International Forum for Rural Transport and Development Transport and Development (IFRTD) 
Prof. Girma Gebresenbet Logistics and Transport Modelling, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) 
Mr David O'neill Ergonomics input, Silsoe Research Institute 
Dr. Colin Oram Prototype design and manufacture training, Univiversity of Warwick 
Dr. Niklas Seiber Transport economics, University of Karlsruhe, Germany 

Administrative Support Staff: 
Zena Ngorongo, Secretary
Philip Musau, Artisan and Harness maker
Samson Jumba, Messenger and Caretaker 
Advisory Committee Mrs Tabitha Ngamau, Farmer 
Dr. Elizabeth Waithanji, Veterinarian 
Mr. L.O. Mulamu, Technologist 
Dr. Anne Lewa, Veterinarian 
Mr. John D. Kimani, Artisan 
Mr.  J.K Kipyakwai, Government representative 
Ms. Lilian Macharia, Tranport Programme Manager, ITDG 
Inspector John Akumonyo, Donkey Welfare Expert, KSPCA
Accounting services:

KENDAT project management structures and accounts are conducted by Thige and Associates (Attn: Mugumo Nderitu CPAII)

For more information, contact:

P.O. Box 2859 
00200, City Square
, Nairobi. Kenya. 
Workshop Tel: +254-2-766939 
Nanyuki Outlet: c/o P.O. Box 1510, Nanyuki 
Nyahururu Outlet: c/o Hekima Hardware Tel: 0365-32316 

Scope of KENDAT activities 

Forum for information exchange and planning 

KENDAT has organised and actively participated in numerous national and international workshops geared towards information exchange and project planning by stakeholders. Numerous participatory and collaborative farm demonstrations, user competitions researches and other activities have been conducted. For KENDAT the participatory approach and methodology has made the whole difference in rural development impact.


KENDAT has a stock of publications of previous animal traction workshops, ATNESA resource books, pamphlets for harnessing implement adjustments, animal drawn cart manufacturing and other manuals. Practical lecture notes, animal and farmer training packages, texts, pictures, videos and reports on topical issues of animal traction development are available as is information on collaborating national networks in the region and the world expertise and scope in animal traction development.


KENDAT has an extensive training prospectus with courses spread all year, in the wide range of animal traction, farm and other management for user clientele, including farmers, transporters, artisans, paravets etc. The prospectus is available on request.

KENDAT Membership and Affiliation

The KENDAT membership is geared towards generation of a national feeling of team work between collaborators. The KENDAT membership consists of researchers, manufacturers, extensionists, farmers, tranporters other practitioners, NGOs, government agencies and community groups (including women groups). 

Regionally and internationally, KENDAT is associated with the Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA) and 6 national traction networks in Uganda, Tanzania (TADAP), Ethiopia (ENAT), Zambia, Zimbabwe (APNEZ) and South Africa (SANAT). 

KENDAT Collaborators

Nationally, KENDAT has real working relationships with Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization Branch, University of Nairobi (Agricultrual Engineering), ACK Rural Development Programme (Kirinyaga), FARM Africa, Tripple W Engineering of Naro Moru, SARDEP Programmes of Laikipia & Kajiado, World Vision (Loitokitok and Narok), Rural Focus of Nanyuki, Budokoni Women Group and One World Development Foundation - Busia, Animal Draft Programme - Homa Bay; OXFAM UK; Catholic Relief Services and Agriculture and Environment Project (AEP) of Homa Bay Diocese, KARI; Kisumu Innovation Centre (KICK), Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF), Farming Systems Kenya, GTZ Marsabit Development Programme (MDP), Stockwatch and others.

Across the borders: Mbeya Oxenization Project, SEAZ Agricutural Equipment (Tanzania), Tororo Community Initiated Development Organization (TOCIDA), NARO, SAARI, AEATRI of Uganda and Uganda National Farmerrs Association (UNFA), Palabana Draft Animal Project and SAMeP (Zambia), Africa Conservation Tillage (ACT) Network, Animal Traction Development UK, among others.

Operational Structure and Capacity for Consultancy Work 

KENDAT's governing body is an executive board with a consultancy wing Development Technology Ventures Ltd who act as the Advisory Body (AB). The board and the AB are composed of eminent professionals and practitioners with a wealth of experience with DATs. The individuals operate with a much broader resource and knowledge form the network of numerous collaborators. KENDAT has expert input for consultancy work in:

  • socio-economic analysis in integrated farming systems; selection of work animals, their sources, health and nutrition, and appropriate power harnessing techniques and methods for tillage and transport operations;
    equipment types, design qualities, selection, equipment selection and qualities for tillage and soil and water conservation;

  • use of animal traction for ploughing, harrowing, ridging, planting, weeding, harvesting, transport and soil scooping for road and dam construction;

  • animal power as a component and its interaction with farming systems utilizing manual labour as well as tractors.

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extension leaflets
working camels





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Contact us!

Kenya Network for Draught Animal Technology (KENDAT)
PO Box 2859, City Square, 00200, Nairobi, KENYA
Tel: + 254-20-6766939; Fax: + 254-20-6766939

Meeting the challenges of animal traction workshop

KENDAT hosted the ATNESA workshop on Meeting the challenges of animal traction which was held in December 1995 at Karen, Kenya. The workshop was attended by 130 people from 27 countries. 

Click here to read more about the workshop and its conclusions.

Click here to see the contents of the resulting resource publication.

Click here to see publications on animal traction in Kenya

Click here to see KENDAT/FarmAfrica extension leaflets concerning working camels

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