Sake Dabasso Halake stands proudly in front of Equity Bank’s Marsabit branch. She smiles, clutching an envelope full with 16,000 Kshs that she received today as a payout on an insurance policy for the 10 cows she lost during the current drought affecting thousands of herders in Northern Kenya.
According to The Guardian, around 650 herders in Marsbit 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 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.
In a district where food aid makes up 15 percent of the economy, 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, which is led by Kenyan staff at ILRI and private sector Kenyan partners, Equity and UAP, is also an example of the role that Kenyans are playing in developing solutions that benefit that most vulnerable among them.