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Pastoralists enter safety zone with insurance cover

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Failure to put in place mechanisms for compensating pastoralists in case of livstock losses is partly to blame for North Eastern province's high poverty index. Photo/FILE

Failure to put in place mechanisms for compensating pastoralists in case of livstock losses is partly to blame for North Eastern province's high poverty index. Photo/FILE 

By STEVE MBOGO

Posted  Tuesday, November 17   2009 at  00:00

Pastoralists will be compensated for loss of their animals from January after a livestock insurance product is launched in Kenya.

They will be required to pay about Sh3,800 every year to cover at least six heard of cattle.

The premium will increase as the number of livestock to be covered increases.

However, details of the exact amount of premium to be paid will depend on the insurance company that have agreed to partner with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the institution that developed the product.

The compensation will ensure that pastoralists do not suffer losses as it happens today when their livestock die from drought, disease or flooding, fuelling a cycle of poverty and insecurity.

The product has been released by ILRI under its weather-index livestock insurance pilot project.

Two companies, UAP and Equity bank’s insurance brokerage division, are in discussion with ILRI on how the project will be rolled out.

Mr Andrew Mude, an economist based at ILRI, confirmed that discussions were underway to find an international re-insurer of the product.

The premiums could go up to Sh7,700 for households with more than eight cattle, noted ILRI.

On average, a healthy beef cattle goes for Sh25,000.

“We have found that interest from households (in Marsabit where studies have been going on) was quite significant,” said Mr Mude.

The Kenya Livestock Marketing Council said the initiative was a positive development in a region where most people depend on livestock.

“This is a very good plan because livestock is the basic commodity in Northern Kenya,” said council official Qalicha Wario.

ILRI will study satellite images on weather changes in North Eastern Province.

In cases of severe drought or flooding that results in death livestock, farmers will be compensated.

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