East Africa / ILRI / Insurance / Kenya / Livestock / News / Vulnerability

Herders receive first drought insurance payouts in Kenya

A humanitarian aid worker's car drives past the carcass of a dead cow in the Kenya-Somalia border town of Liboi July 29, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

As part of an innovative new scheme, 650 herders in northern Kenya received their first drought insurance payouts for the loss of thousands of cows, camels, goats and sheep on Friday.

Up to a third of livestock in Marsabit District are estimated to have died during the current drought, which has affected over 13 million people across the Horn of Africa.

“It’s terrible that we are seeing this level of loss, but gratifying that the policies are doing what they are supposed to do, which is to help herders avert disaster when weather conditions dry up pasture lands and animals begin to perish,” said Isaac Magina, head of agriculture insurance at UAP Insurance, one of the partners in the scheme.

“When you look at a 33 percent loss, that is a significant portion of the asset base of any business and it would be difficult to survive without insurance.”

The programme, which uses NASA satellite imagery of vegetation to determine losses of livestock forage, aims to make it easier for pastoralist communities to cope with and recover from drought.

Clients are paid when indicators show their animals are at risk of death, rather than assessing actual livestock losses. This would be impossible as pastoralists and their animals move over vast tracts of arid land in search of pasture and water.

Read more …… NAIROBI (AlertNet) Reuters

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