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Drought will always come. That is a fact the people of Northern Kenya have to live with. The question is not whether drought will come, but how much of a loss the people will incur due to the death of their livestock.

Ordinarily people treat livestock as property. In Northern Kenya, they are treated like members of the family.

That is why spending money on livestock insurance may seem odd to non-pastoralists, but to those whose lives rotate around livestock, this product is a matter of life.

Pastoral communities occupy the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALS) that make 80% of the total land area of Kenya.  That is too much of an area to be known for poverty and aid dependence.

Kenya Markets Trust worked with International Livestock Reseach Institute (ILRI) and Takaful Iinsurance of Africa (TIA) to develop Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI), targeting the pastoralists in the Northern Kenya.

IBLI is structured to provide funds aimed at helping cushion pastoralists against drought related risks and losses in order to create resilience.

We recently carried out an assesment of  how beneficiaries in Wajir spent the payouts they received from IBLI.

‘Mzee’ Abdi Adan Bulle from Habado village in Wajir describes IBLI as a ‘game changer’ to his community and urges his neighbors to embrace it. “I have used the money to pay school fees for my children” says Bulle. “I have also bought fodder, animal health inputs and an extra goat”. Mzee Bulle says his worries are taken care of.

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Mzee Abdi Adan Bulle (middle) with KMT staff during Wajir field Visit

In Biyamathow village, one ‘Mzee’ Hassan Kaliye, said a goat that would cost ksh 1500-2000/- is now going for ksh 4500-5000/- after being able to use the insurance payout to access fodder and animal health inputs.

Kenya Markets Trust will continue to assist market actors to roll out innovative products in the Northern Kenya for the benefit of the communities. The region has become the country’s new frontier for development.