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

Livestock insurance for the Horn: Looking back in anger, forward in hope–CNN video

CNN video: Protecting farmers against drought

A new CNN video—Protecting farmers against drought—describes the benefits of ILRI’s Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) scheme in Kenya’s Marsabit District, runtime: 5:44, 11 Jun 2012 (CNN Marketplace Africa).

Watch the video     Read the transcript

Some half a year after the drought that devastated large parts of the Horn of Africa broke towards the end of 2011, livestock herders in the drylands of northern Kenya speak out about the horror of that time, and their hopes that a new livestock insurance scheme will protect them against further livestock losses in the next, inevitable, drought.

In a new 6-minute video on CNN’s Marketplace Africa, several herders in Kenya’s Marsabit District tell reporter Nima Elbagir their stories of last year’s drought and how an insurance scheme piloted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and backed by British and US government development departments and the World Bank is offering them hope for protection against the next drought.

WACHO YAYO, FARMER (through translator): The last drought was bad. During the drought time, there wasn’t even any water to drink. There was no food. The animals had nothing to eat. There was only dust blowing. I felt very bad and I was very bitter. I wanted to run away, but there was nowhere to run.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Fifty-nine-year-old Wacho Yayo lost 10 of his 15 cows. These are the survivors. He can’t afford to replenish his herd, but thanks to livestock insurance that has been set up in this part of Kenya, he should afford to buy four new goats. . . .

Elbagir also interviewed leaders of an insurance company and a humanitarian organization working in the area.

SIMON CLAYTON, CEO, APA INSURANCE: The penetration of insurance in Kenya is only about 3 percent of the population. So the more we can grow and give access to insurance products for those uninsured people, the better it is for them. They can protect their assets, their families and their occupations for the future.

CHALLISS MCDONOUGH, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Microinsurance for agriculture is something that farmers in the rest of the world have had access to for some time, but African farmers, the poorest and smallest . . . African farmers are only really beginning to have access to. And their ability to do that can really help the agricultural sector in Africa grow and become more productive.

What’s important to know, however, though, is that insurance by itself isn’t a magic bullet. It has to be combined with other forms of risk management, including access to credit, savings and other things that help the communities themselves become more resilient and more able to withstand a shock like a drought.’

A total of 650 herders received compensation for the loss of their animals last year. Now there are plans to expand this ILRI project across northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

ILRI’s technical partners in this project
Cornell University
Index Insurance Innovation Initiative
Syracuse University (Maxwell School)
University of Wisconsin (BASIS Research Program)

The implementing partners
Equity Insurance Agency
UAP Insurance Limited
Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya
Kenya Meteorological Department
Kenya Ministry of Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands
Kenya Ministry of Livestock

The donor agencies
UK Department for International Development (DFID)
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
World Bank

Read more about ILRI’s Index-based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) project below.

On the Index-Based Livestock Insurance web site
IBLI Blog: Latest news: Livestock insurance – protecting Kenya’s pastoralists from drought, 11 Jun 2012.

IBLI reports and documents

On ILRI’s News Blog
Options to enhance resilience in pastoral systems: The case for novel livestock insurance, 22 Feb 2012.
Livestock director and partners launch first-ever index-based livestock insurance payments in Africa, 25 Oct 2011.
Herders in drought-stricken northern Kenya get first livestock insurance payments, 21 Oct 2011.

Watch two ILRI short films on this topic
Short films document first index-based livestock insurance for African herders, 26 Oct 2011.

On this ILRI Clippings Blog
Supporting dryland pastoralism with eco-conservancies, livestock insurance and livestock-based drought interventions, 5 Jun 2012.
Coping with drought: Assessing the impacts of livestock insurance in Kenya, 7 May 2012.
Of cell phones, satellites and livestock insurance in Kenya’s Chalbi Desert, 29 Feb 2012.
Kenyan herders cope with drought by buying livestock insurance, 10 Jan 2010.

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