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Govt to release record cash payout in livestock insurance program

SAGANA, Nyeri, 5 March — President Uhuru Kenyatta will this week formally launch cash payouts to support pastoralists to purchase fodder and animal feed for their stock until the drought comes to an end.

Vulnerable pastoralists in Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir counties will benefit from the Sh215 million payout.

The payments under the Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme will target 12,604 registered pastoralist households in the seven counties. 2,503 pastoralists in Turkana that are registered under the program were paid last month.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu made the announcement today when he said the Government will enhance the measures to mitigate the drought affecting 23 counties.

The technology-based program – which is a partnership between local insurance companies and the government – uses satellites to monitor vegetation available to livestock and triggers assistance for feed, veterinary medicines and even water trucks when animal deaths are imminent.

In February, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Willy Bett, said the payout will be the biggest livestock insurance payout ever made under the agricultural risk management program.

Esipisu also said the government has intensified water trucking in the 23 affected counties in other parts of the country, rehabilitated boreholes and increased purchase of livestock in the affected areas to cushion farmers.

“As I had mentioned last week, in terms of provision of food, the administration has doubled up food rations to feed 3 million people, up from an initial figure of 1.3 million Kenyans. We are doing this through special programmes,” said Mr Esipisu

At the same time, the State House Spokesperson spoke on the security situation in Baringo and Laikipia.

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He said there has been a tremendous improvement in the security of Baringo and Marakwet after the Government launched security operations in the region.

“To respond to the skirmishes, the number of officers in the area have been increased. In Marakwet, there are 4 new camps that have been opened.On the other hand in Baringo, we have substantially increased the number of officers,” he said.

Mr Manoah said there have been no incidents in Laikipia besides the one where a lodge was torched by herders reportedly in retaliation for tough police action.

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