Read AlertNet Climate Change editor Laurie Goering's latest report from Durban:
Equipping illiterate migratory herders with drought insurance in one of the driest regions of drought-prone East Africa might seem a big task, particularly in a region where claims adjustors, cell phone coverage and cash to pay for policies are nearly as rare as rain itself.
But a range of such pioneering insurance efforts – considered one of the few ways to help East Africa’s herders weather worsening droughts – are taking hold in Kenya and Ethiopia, and are now being replicated as far away as Peru and Guatemala.
“(Herders) are fantastic risk managers. All they lack is the tools to do it even better,” said Richard Choularton, a senior policy officer focusing on climate change and disaster risk reduction for the World Food Programme (WFP).
Equipping them with insurance “keeps households above the poverty line so they don’t enter this downward spiral” when bad times hit – a key way of helping them adapt to climate change, he said during an explanation of insurance programmes at the United Nations’ climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
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