Protecting Kenyan livestock farmers against drought

Droughts are responsible for approximately 75% of livestock deaths in the Horn of Africa, repeatedly leaving herders, their families and entire communities destitute. To protect pastoralists against this persistent threat, we helped to launch the Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP), the first-ever government livestock insurance scheme in Africa.

KLIP was successfully piloted in late 2015 in Wajir and Turkana, two counties in the country’s north, and is now being scaled up to benefit herders in remote areas across the whole of Kenya. It is an index-based livestock insurance scheme that uses satellite imagery to assess the state of grazing conditions by measuring deviation in the colour of ground vegetation. When a certain threshold is reached, the insured herders automatically receive a lump sum payment, allowing them to provide their livestock with feed and water.

The programme was developed with the support of Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture (, the World Bank (, local insurers and the International Livestock Research Institute ( in Nairobi, with Swiss Re acting as the main reinsurance provider. Wholly funded by the Kenyan government, the programme involves preselection of beneficiaries from vulnerable households by county governments under the Hunger Safety Net Program ( It covers up to five animals per household, but herders can choose to insure more animals at their own expense.