Extreme weather and climate change are adversely impacting livelihoods in semi-arid lands. Increasingly frequent droughts are forcing pastoralists to sell surviving livestock, pushing them into poverty. The IPCC estimates that more than 4.8 million people are affected, costing USD1.25 billion per year. It is estimated that each severe drought shrinks a country’s gross domestic product by 3%. Index-based livestock insurance is an innovative approach that offers financial protection against such disaster shocks. This project aims to strengthen climate resilience among agro-pastoral communities in Kenya by creating livestock insurance that is more effective and gender-responsive. High-resolution earth observation data and community engagement will be used to improve the “trigger mechanism” under which insurance is activated. The project will tailor insurance products to the needs of different groups of women and men, different types of livestock, and longer-term economic viability. The research team will pilot these products through simulations with community volunteers in Tana River to ensure the products are affordable and accessible and to assess the benefits for users and insurance providers.
Photo credit: IDRC