Author Archives for brendawandera

Economist helps devise livestock insurance for drought-stricken Africa

A livestock carcass in Marsabit ,Northern Kenya, which has suffered prolonged drought. Credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Herdsmen in drought-stricken Kenya have received their first payments from an innovative livestock insurance program designed with the help of Michael Carter, a professor of agricultural and resource economics.

The program, intended to prevent livestock producers from falling into indigence and food-aid dependence, could be a model for improving food security in other areas of the world.

Read more…. UC Davis Friday update, 18 Nov 2011

New plan for drought victims pays out

A livestock carcass in Marsabit ,Northern Kenya, which has suffered prolonged drought. Credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

MARSABIT, Kenya — “We have never experienced a season like this one,” said Boru Sora, a 25-year old herder of the Borana tribe in northern Kenya.

“Sixty of our cattle died this year out of 120, 17 more were taken by raiders, but the main reason? It is hunger and weakness that kills them. It is the drought.”

At the center of Sora’s family compound, demarcated by thorn bushes, is a circular mud-walled hut; outside the plot, crumpled over rocks, are the desiccated carcasses of some of the family’s depleted herd, left to rot where they fell.

“It is a disaster for us,” said Sora’s 56-year old father Haro, a forlorn man who lost his right eye to disease years ago. “We have no hope.”

Pastoralists in the Horn of Africa have been hardest-hit by the drought that is ravaging the region. More than 12 million people are short of food and in the parts of Somalia where drought has worsened into famine, 750,000 people face starvation, according to United Nations figures.

Read more…… By Tristan McConnell, Global post (Nov 2011)

New satellite-based scheme makes first payments to pastoralists

What hits you when you get out of the truck at Ginda Village, in Northern Kenya, is the smell.

Farmer Haro Sora’s land is littered with the carcasses of cattle and donkeys that have keeled over following an intense, prolonged drought. A skull here; half a ribcage there. In some places there are whole animals slumped on the roadside. Some have died in the last few days, and the wind does little to clear the air.

Ginda, in Marsabit District, has been affected by the now infamous Horn of Africa drought, which triggered a food crisis affecting around 13 million people in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. After more than a year, the rains finally returned to Ginda a fortnight ago.

The fact that the food crisis in the Horn was the result of a livestock crisis has been well documented. A major pastoralist zone, when vegetation for grazing began to dry-up and livestock started to die, the knock-on effects on farmer livelihoods became strikingly clear.

Read more…. CIAT blog by Neil (24th Oct 2011)

Kenyan herders paid for lost cattle in new innovative insurance programme

Insured cattle farmers in Kenya are now receiving their first payment for losing animals to drought. Photo: P. Casier (CGIAR)

Herders in Northern Kenya who have lost their cattle due to the intensive drought are getting their first payments as part of an innovative insurance program known as Index Based Livestock Insurance or IBLI. This was reported by the International Livestock Research Institute who developed this insurance programme together with Cornell University and the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative program at the University of California at Davis.

Read more… CCAFS blog by Cecilia (21st Oct 2011)

UAP, ILRI make first compensations for livestock losses

Pastoralists in Marsabit who have lost up to a third of their animals due to ravaging drought witnessed in the country a few months ago today received compensation from UAP Insurance under an insurance program developed in partnership with the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Cornell University, Equity Bank and the index Insurance Innovation Initiative (14) program at the University of California at Davis.

Some 650 insured herders in northern Kenya’s vast Marsabit District benefited from this innovative programme that promises to change the fate of pastoralists living in the arid and semi-arid areas and who face periodic lose of their herds due to drought. “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, UAP Insurance.

Known as Index Based Livestock Insurance or ILBI, payouts are triggered when satellite images show that grazing lands in the region have deteriorated to the point that herders are expected to be losing greater than 15 percent of their herd. The current readings upon which indemnities are now being paid show that between 18 to 33 percent of livestock have been lost to drought this season.

Read more…. AfricaNews.com (21st Oct 2011)

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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