, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 — The government is set to disburse Sh215 million to 12,064 pastoral households by the end of February in a move geared towards cushioning pastoralists from the ongoing drought.
According to the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett, the payments ranging from Sh1,450/- to Sh29,400/- per household will be made through seven local insurance companies under the Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme (KLIP).
“Many of the counties in the Northern region are now in the grips of a severe drought thereby depleting pasture and grazing resources,” CS Bett said during a press conference at Kilimo House on Monday.
Bett said the government has already paid Sh160 million in insurance premiums to enable the programme to be rolled out in Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir county.
“As we speak now, there has been a massive trigger of payouts. In February 2017, the insurance companies will be making payments of Sh215 million to 12,064 pastoral households (approximately 100,000 people) in six counties,” he said.
The CS said forage levels in the six counties will be monitored to ensure payments made to affected pastoralists are commensurate with intensity of drought in a given area.
Under the initiative, forage levels will be monitored to determine the amount of money to be given to pastoralists in the six counties so that they remain resilient throughout the dry spell.
“We are not compensating on the loss of livestock,” he clarified. “This is a satellite based insurance programme where if forage reduces to certain levels, payments are triggered.”
Statistics released by the ministry indicate that the drought between 2008 and 2011 caused over US $ 12.1 billion in losses with the livestock sector accounting for 70 percent of the loss as 10 per cent of livestock died from starvation, lack of water and diseases.
The ministry will now target vulnerable pastoralists through the KLIP who will benefit from drought insurance protection for five Tropical Livestock Units (TLUs) – equivalent to 5 heads of cattle, 50 sheep, 50 goats or 3.75 camels – with an insured value of Sh70,000 for 5 TLU or Sh14,000 per TLU per year for each household.
Bett said the programme which was developed with technical assistance from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), World Bank, and Financial Sector Development (FSD) Kenya forms part of the national strategy to end drought emergencies in the country.
The initiative will be administered by the government through a public-private partnership programme in partnership with a consortium of seven local insurers with the support of a Zurich-based insurer, Swiss Re.
The seven insurers are APA, UAP, CIC, Jubilee, Heritage, Amaco and Kenya Orient Insurance.
Bett was flanked by ILRI Director General Jimmy Smith, APA Insurance Chief Executive Officer Ashok Shah, CIC Insurance Managing Director Elijah Wachira and Heritage Insurance’s Godfrey Kioi.