Drought / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Event / Film and video / Food Security / ILRI / Insurance / Kenya / Pastoralism / Vulnerability

Insuring the never before insured: Kenyan herders get first drought payouts

Sake Dabasso Halake_1

Sake Dabasso Halake stands proudly in front of Equity Bank‘s Marsabit branch, clutching an envelope of 16,000 Kenya shillings (USD165) that she received as a payout on an insurance policy she earlier took out for her cows; she lost ten cows in a drought just ending that has hurt the livelihoods of thousands of livestock herders in Kenya’s northern drylands (photo on Flickr by Jeff Haskins/Burness Communications).

‘According to the Guardian, around 650 herders in Marsabit District signed up for insurance policies established through a partnership the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)—a Burness client, East Africa’s largest insurer UAP Insurance and Equity Bank to protect herders like Sake and their livestock investments from drought losses. At a time when global attention for the worst drought in half a century has waned, nearly all were compensated. Researchers estimate that anywhere between 20–30 percent of livestock in Marsabit have been lost.

‘. . . ILRI estimates that livestock trade is responsible for about 65 percent of the money coming into households. While the new insurance product won’t cover the total value of their losses, it does offer participating farmers and herders an opportunity to recoup some of what was lost.

‘The project . . . is . . . an example of the role that Kenyans are playing in developing solutions that benefit that most vulnerable among them.’

Read the whole article by Jeff Haskins and an accompanying short ILRI documentary on this novel ILRI insurance project at The Burness Effect Blog: Insurance payouts help herders rebuild after massive livestock losses, 2 Nov 2011.

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