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Insurance helps Kenyan livestock herders cope with drought

ILRI Clippings

IBLI pixByJeffHaskins

A women receives her insurance payout (photo credit: Jeff Haskins).

‘The index-based insurance program is run by the Kenya-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and funded by the British, U.S. and Australian governments and the European Union. The donors subsidize the cover to make it affordable for pastoralists.

‘A range of insurance companies sell policies to herders across northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

‘ILRI first piloted index-based insurance in Marsabit in 2010. Then, clients received payouts after a drought, at the end of a failed rainy season, to help them replace their assets.

‘By the time payouts were made, some or all of the clients’ cattle, sheep, goats and camels had died, causing households like Kula’s to lose their entire source of income.

‘According to the Kenya Post-Disaster Needs Assessment for the 2008–2011 drought, there were substantial livestock deaths in that period, mostly in the north, worth an estimated KSH…

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