• Kinara says the county government should take up the programme by purchasing premiums for its beneficiaries
• Korane says his government will invest in the programme in the next financial year to increase the number of beneficiaries
The Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme has released Sh65 million to compensate over 2,000 pastoralists in Garissa who insured their livestock against calamities, including drought.
The programme, initiated by the government in collaboration with the county government of Garissa, aims to give insurance subsidies to pastoralists in eight arid and semi-arid (ASAL) counties to cut their losses whenever drought strikes.
So far the programme has paid Sh299 million to its 18,000 beneficiaries and hopes to introduce a similar programme in the other six counties.
Speaking after giving out cheques to the beneficiaries in Garissa on Saturday, KLIP capacity development officer Tom Kinara said the county government should start taking up the programme by purchasing premiums for their beneficiaries.
He said the national government would no longer offer full subsidies to pastoralists and county governments should come in handy.
Governor Ali Korane said his government will invest in the programme in the next financial year to increase the number of beneficiaries who are currently estimated to be 2,000 households.
Korane said he expects pastoralists to understand the benefits of insurance so that they can manage their livestock well.
He told farmers to plan ahead of the drought and invest in initiatives that will reduce their vulnerability.
"We need to learn from the adverse effects of the vicious cycle of drought that affect many of our livestock dependent households," Korane said.
Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chairman Dubat Amey said pastoralists should shift from pastoralism of pride to commercial.
He said 90 per cent of residents in the region depend either directly or indirectly on livestock production.
He regretted that the sector continues to be neglected by the government, which he said has prioritised other sectors which are not as important and key to the economy.