Successful Kenya Livestock Insurance Program scheme scales up

Approximately 75 percent of livestock deaths in the Horn of Africa are caused by severe drought, repeatedly leaving herders, their families and entire communities destitute. In October of 2015, the first government livestock insurance scheme in Africa – the Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP) - was successfully piloted in two counties in the North of Kenya. The scheme, which was launched with the support of Andrew Mude, ILRI, 2016 winner of the World Food Prize Award, and Swiss Re, will now be scaled up to benefit herders across the country.

The programme applies satellite-based index insurance to protect pastoralists in remote areas. Satellites assess the state of the grazing conditions in a certain region by measuring the colour of the ground. Green is good while yellow is very dry. Once a certain threshold is reached the insured automatically receive a lump sum payment, allowing them to provide their livestock - which includes cows, goats and camels – with feed and water, to survive. The fact that KLIP is designed to keep livestock from dying, allows the pastoralists to hold on to their way of life and means of survival.

The KLIP pilot, which was launched in October 2015, covered the two counties of Wajir and Turkana, protecting livestock of 5,000 households. So far, 275 nomadic cattle farmers in Wajir County have received insurance payments. The scheme will now be extended across the whole country. Wholly funded by the Kenyan government, the premiums come at no charge to herders registered under the Hunger Safety Net Program, and covers five animals per household. They can also choose to insure additional animals at their own expense.

In addition to the Kenyan Government, KLIP has been implemented with the help of local insurance companies. The scheme is also supported by the World Bank, The International Livestock Research Institute and Swiss Re.