May 27, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Insure citizens against disaster risk, states told

Humanitarian crises that follow natural disasters in Africa are preventable if governments insured their citizens instead of rushing to Western countries for help, said the Africa Risk Capacity (ARC).

The Union created by Africans helps countries build capacity and interventions for disaster management, says lack of planning has caused pain to millions of Africans and shamed the continent as images of suffering people are used to plead for help.

ARC Chief Executive Lesley Ndlovu says the severity and frequency of climate change-related disasters is increasing across the continent, but penetration of insurance against these events is low.

“We offer however, approximately 30 million people are insured each year, the number of people in Africa who need insurance coverage is approximately 700 million,” says Mr. Ndlovu.

Speaking to The EastAfrican last week, Mr Ndlovu said only 13 African countries have included insurance coverage against natural disasters. In total, 35 countries have signed a treaty allowing them to become members of ARC.

While ARC aims to cover approximately 200 million Africans by 2027, it notes that political goodwill will be key to provide more vulnerable populations with access to assistance in times of disaster.

ARC was founded in 2012 but has struggled to persuade governments to provide insurance coverage. Mr Ndlovu noted that the Horn of Africa in particular has been left behind, with governments shouldering the burden when tragedies strike or rush to seek international help.

Kenya, which used a cover between 2015 and 2017 had taken over, Nr no longer pays premiums despite the conclusion of a national disaster management plan.

All other East African countries are not members of ARC.