from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – MORE than 1,6 million pastoralists and their dependents across East Africa are poised to benefit from a $140 million project to build the resilience of pastoral communities.
The De-Risking, Inclusion and Value Enhancement of pastoral economies (DRIVE) project aims to de-risk pastoral systems through an integrated package of financial services that includes drought index insurance, savings, digital accounts and financial education, and at the value chain level through de-risking private sector investments that provide reliable markets to pastoralists.
It is the initiative of Kenya, through the State Department for Livestock Development, in partnership with ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company), Kenya Development Corporation and the World Bank Group.
Communities in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia will benefit over the next five years.
Harry Kimtai, Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Livestock Development, said the project is expected to enhance the climate resilience of pastoral communities, address climate change, strengthen commercialization of livestock production and ensure the inclusion of the marginalised and vulnerable groups such as women and youth.
“The DRIVE project is a critical step towards the sustainable development of pastoralist communities in Kenya,” he said.
Kimtail believes by providing them with the necessary support and resources, the project will help increase their resilience and enhance their economic participation while promoting a more sustainable and inclusive economic development model in Kenya.
In Kenya, over 150 000 pastoralists are expected to benefit from the project.
“The project expands access of pastoralists to a package of financial services, so that they may receive insurance payouts in their accounts in case of severe drought and use their savings in case of moderate shocks,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director.
East Africa is enduring its worst drought in decades, blamed on climate change.
– CAJ News