Kenya Fails to Benefit from ARC due to Inconsistency
The seasonal rains that led to floods in Marsabit, West Pokot, Mandera, Wajir and Turkana Counties resulted to hundreds of families getting displaced. As a results livestock was swept away, transport paralyzed thus affecting businesses and livelihoods
Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali had to skip Mashujaa Day celebrations to attend to flood crisis in Moyale.
Efforts by the government and the humanitarian organizations moved in to try and salvage the situation. Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has stated that the government plans to construct three dams in Marsabit, Turkana and West Pokot Counties. This will help increase water harvesting and storage capacities as a long term strategy.
The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) on its end has said most parts of the country are expected to receive heavy rainfall in the month of October.
This was just one of an anticipated effect of climate change that hit the country. In the recent past, the country has experienced similar weather related disasters such as droughts and floods
As a result of climate change, the country is at risk of being hit by other forms of disasters; drought, cyclones, dust storms, high winds, heat waves, disease outbreaks and epidemics etc. To mitigate the effects of these disasters, financial aid is needed to cushion communities from loss of their crops and livestock. With such risks in mind, the African Union came together to form the Africa Risk Capacity (ARC) a form of insurance that would see African countries get payouts in times of disaster.
ARC was started in 2012 as a way of highlighting disasters in good time and offering climate risk insurance to member countries.
African countries are free to be become members of the ARC, and it takes up to 18months for a country to come up with its operational plan and become a member. After which it is required to religiously pay its premiums annually so as to qualify for a payout in case of extreme weather events.
Kenya was among the first countries to become a member in 2014, managing to pay its premiums that year and in 2015. However, in 2016 and 2017, it failed to pay its premiums, thus did not qualify for payouts when it got affected by drought in 2017/2018. This isn’t unique to Kenya as most Africans have a low uptake of insurance, with many rushing when need arises.
Ideally insurance serves as a way in which a country or an individual can protect themselves from loss, in this case ARC would help a country plan in preparation for disaster and in the event a disaster does occur it can be able reallocate funds and get a pay out to cater to the disaster. The payouts are based on threshold value index on weather aspects such as rainfall.
ARC hopes to strengthen the capacity of member states to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events thus achieving stability for its populations.