Horses on Lebu Road

One of the most heart-wrenching things I witness on a daily basis are horses in the middle of the road. Animals in the road are not an uncommon thing in Ethiopia; on a daily basis as you walk down the road, herds of goats, oxen, and (my favorite) donkeys pass you by. But there’s something about the horses…

I live in Lebu, a new development in the southeastern part of Addis. In the past 5 or 6 years, the area has gone from teff fields to government condominimums and large private villas. It is a strange half-built area of town that is both rural and urban.

The tradition in this part of town has been for local farmers to bring their ailing horses to the area and to leave them. Yes, you read that right. They bring dying, infected horses into the outskirts of Addis and abandon them in the road. On any given day you can see 5 – 10 horses standing in the median, looking lost, confused, and sick. It will forever break my heart.

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