Climate change has hit the world, hard. But for the more than 50 million of the world’s poorest living in sub-Saharan Africa as pastoralists—herders or farmers that often travel with little else but their cattle—their lives literally depend on stopping climate change. Their average income is $2 per day and dropping, and many are left starving when their cattle die from the every-other-year droughts due to climate change.
Surprisingly, a solution that’s working to fix this problem is satellites. By using satellites to take photos of the vegetation on the ground, researchers can predict if animals will starve from the degrading environment. Using this technology, pastoralists can be told whether or not they should invest in pre-emptive health insurance for their animals to help them buy food, water, and veterinary services to help them keep their cattle alive before a bad dry season.
This alternative, affordable insurance is being proven to work for the world’s poorest: There’s more milk production and greater household income from milk, better child nutrition, fewer sales of livestock and less stress in areas benefiting from satellite information. Pastoralists who aren’t insured still are benefiting from the program as insurance providers supply the deadening areas with cash and the economic activity lifts up everyone—and countries are investing in the program.
Read more on The New York Times.
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Photo: Wake Up World
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