A severe summer drought, followed by winter temperatures of minus 40-50°C, has resulted in the loss of an estimated 8 million animals – about 17 per cent of Mongolia’s livestock. The extreme conditions, known as dzud, have had a devastating impact in a country where 40 per cent of the population depend on livestock. In northern Kenya, pastoralists have also recently experienced one of the worst droughts in decades – the fourth severe drought in the last ten years.
Until recently, pastoralists faced with extreme conditions had to rely upon traditional coping mechanisms and support from governments and international agencies. However, two index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) programmes are providing pastoralists in Mongolia and Marsabit District in northern Kenya with the tools to help them cope with climate-related risks.
Read more… (New Agriculturist, July 2010)