Pastoralists in Tana River County have benefitted from a government insurance facility to the tune of about Sh.234.3 million in the past three years, an official has said.
The Tana River Director of Livestock Production, Nzioka Wambua said the insurance programme, which is being undertaken by the national and county government, had benefitted more than 2, 500 livestock owners since its inception in 2016.
He said the facility is aims to cushion pastoralists from the effects of drought as well as facilitate their migration to areas rich in pastures and water, buy hay and water for weak and lactating animals that were usually left at home when the others migrated.
“The initiative, which was mooted by the State Department of Livestock together with the Tana River County government 2016, is meant for livestock feeds security and not for compensation on livestock loses or deaths,” he told reporters in his office on Tuesday.
Wambua said payments to the beneficiaries were given in two phases per financial year depending on the drought state – the first running from October to February and the second from March to August.
“From its inception, the scheme has paid out a total of Sh.234, 317, 958 to its beneficiaries in four different phases,” he said, adding that payments for the October 2018-February 2019 phase were ongoing.
“This year, we had some delays but so far, more than half of the payments for the October-February phase have been issued out and we expect to complete in one months’ time,” he said adding that the next phase was scheduled to be fully paid out by August.
The delayed payments were as a result of mismatching bank account details of some of the beneficiaries, he said, noting that money is paid through M-pesa and bank accounts.
Wambua said that his department was keenly following the migration of pastoralists from Bangale, Bura, Galole and Garsen west, to the Tana Delta.
He said his department was working together with the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) to provide the pastoralists with livestock feed after pastures in the delta get exhausted.
“We are training farmers on how to produce silages. We have already constructed hay stores, which we hope will help mitigate the pasture shortage because the pasture in the delta cannot sustain the herds for more than three months,” the director said.
Wambua said about 90% of the livestock from Bangale, Galole and Bura were expected to migrate to Tana Delta due to the ongoing drought in the areas.
By Felix Mulu/Emmanuel Masha