Britam To Help Tana River Mitigate Floods

by Business Watch Team

Some 20,000 families in Hola and Garsen, Tana River County, are set to benefit from flood insurance cover courtesy of Britam, Swiss Re, and Oxfam. This marks a significant increase in the number of households covered under the Index-Based Flood Insurance (IBFI) policy. 300 households in Madogo Ward are currently covered under the policy.

The scaling of the IBFI to cover more families in the flood-prone part of the county follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Tana River County government and Britam. Under the MoU, the county shall support awareness creation and enrollment of households into the program. The scaling of the coverage is designed to safeguard and enhance the resilience of communities against the impact of floods.

The signing of the MOU comes two months after 300 households in Madogo Ward, Tana River County, received sh14.1 million in compensation for the losses resulting from the enhanced-rainfall flooding incident in Upper Tana. The claim was paid under the IBFI policy, designed to cushion small-scale farmers residing in flood-prone areas from the catastrophic effects of floods.

The Governor of Tana River County, His Excellency Major (Rtd) Dhadho Gaddae Godhana, expressed optimism about the collaboration noting that the impact of the innovative solutions was already evident following last December’s payout to individuals and families that lost their livelihoods to floods.

Related Content: 300 Households Affected By Floods In Tana River Get Ksh 14 Million From Britam

“This MoU marks a crucial step towards building resilience and ensuring that our people have access to much-needed protection against the unpredictable nature of floods,” said Major (Rtd) Godhana.

Tom Gitogo, Britam’s Group Managing Director, highlighted the importance of the partnership with the County in delivering on the company’s social impact goals. He observed that the collaboration underscores Britam’s commitment to leveraging insurance as a tool for social good.

“By expanding the reach of our flood insurance product, we aim to be a catalyst in the economic transformation of the Tana River region, enabling families to focus on improving their lives without worrying about potential loss caused by floods,” said Gitogo.

Launched in May 2023, the IBFI is a result of a partnership between Britam, Oxfam in Kenya, and global reinsurer Swiss Re. Other players in the partnership include Risk Shield and Arid Lands Development Focus (ALDEF), which is Oxfam’s implementing partner in Upper Tana. IBFI was developed using data modeling and satellite imagery to predetermine flood thresholds and provide coverage at an affordable cost. The IBFI product is especially valuable for those who live in areas with a high risk of flooding but may not have access to conventional property insurance products.

Britam’s Director of Emerging Consumers, Mr. Saurabh Sharma, noted that the pilot with Oxfam demonstrated that insurance could protect communities against adverse weather events by paying a quick claim payout.

“We will be aiming to scale up the program to cover the entire population that is vulnerable to flood risk now that we have the support of the county government,” said Sharma.

The MoU provides an opportunity to leverage the strengths and resources of the parties to address the pressing challenges faced by the communities in the Tana River region. Through this collaboration, both parties will work together to cause change in the delivery of insurance services and create a meaningful impact in the lives of those most affected by the devastating consequences of floods.

Data shows that floods will become a frequent menace in Kenya, thanks to climate change. Public-private partnership is the ideal way to scale up such solutions where the innovation of the private sector is combined with the governance model of the local government.

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