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AN INVESTIGATION ON FLOOD OCCURRENCE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES IN NAIROBI, KENYA

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AN INVESTIGATION ON FLOOD OCCURRENCE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES IN NAIROBI, KENYA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, holds a significant role in the nation's commerce, industry, and administration. It's also a popular tourist destination with a substantial population of residents and workers. Given its importance in these aspects, it's crucial to mitigate any risks that could jeopardize the city's essential functions, including the risk of flooding. However, the consequences of the prolonged rainfall experienced in Nairobi in 2015 were profound and had a lasting impact.

Analyzing the social and economic effects of these floods would provide valuable insights for the city's urban development, supporting long-term planning and informed decision-making in anticipation of future extreme events. Similarly, urban flooding causes a major economic loss and casualties worldwide, In Nairobi, Kenya, high population caused by rural-urban migration, unemployment and unplanned urban development are among factors that increase flood vulnerability and risk.

Additionally, flood is a type of calamity that occurs globally on a variety of scales and in various locations each year, which claims many lives, destroys property, and devastates the ecosystem. Although natural events are what create flood disasters, human activity has increased their frequency and severity. In a conceptual sense, the term "flood" describes the situation where an excess of water exceeds the capacity of river channels, typically linked to severe natural occurrences that occur within a drainage basin. Similarly, floods happen when soil and vegetation cannot absorb water from downpours. It also occur when a river outbursts its banks and the water spills onto the floodplain.

Beyond that, floods can result from natural phenomena, including hurricanes, weather patterns, and the melting of snow. Additionally, there are other types of floods, such as those following tsunamis and coastal surges, which have natural origins, like seismic activity on the seabed and high tides influenced by the moon's gravitational pull (Adenekan, 2019). However, there are many human-induced causes of flooding. Urbanization has also become a major cause of flooding in cities (Zhang, 2019) such that, a river is more likely to flood when its drainage basin is in an urban area. Likewise, inadequate drainage in some urban areas is a major cause of flooding, while in others, it is the lack of proper management of the drainage systems.

Further more, flooding stands as a prominent hazard in Kenya, it has often received inadequate attention. Since 1963, the occurrence of floods has led to significant losses. For instance, in the past two decades, thousands of lives have been lost due to floods and flood-related incidents. Factors such as unemployment and urbanization have driven many Kenyans to migrate to urban centers like Nairobi, exerting pressure on housing resources and resulting in the establishment of informal settlements that are risky and unsuitable for habitation. This is exacerbated by the fact that many of these structures are constructed in vulnerable areas like waterways, riverbanks, and floodplains. The absence of well-planned urban development, particularly in Nairobi, further compounds the strain on the limited existing housing, compelling landlords and business owners to erect inexpensive, yet unsafe, structures.

In Kenya, there has been limited scholarly research focused on the risks associated with floods, especially in the context of slum areas, which has consequently resulted in substantial losses. As a response, there is a pressing need for comprehensive research and analysis to understand the economic risks and losses endured by the residents each time there is rainfall in Nairobi. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate on flood occurrence and its consequences in Nairobi, Kenya.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The occurrence of flooding presents several significant problems and challenges, including: leads to loss of life, injuries, and health issues, property damage: roads, bridges, and utilities, leading to transport disruptions and loss of access to essential services. However, floods disrupt transportation networks and impede progress in infrastructure development projects and political processes.

In addition, Charles (2019), the economic repercussions of natural disasters have shown a noticeable increase in recent decades, with a disproportionate impact on communities in developing and least developed countries. Lei and Kargel (2019) assert that floods result in loss of human life, destruction of social and economic infrastructure, and the degradation of already fragile ecosystems. Consequently, floods bring about social impacts, including alterations in people's lifestyles, culture, community dynamics, political systems, environment, health, well-being, personal and property rights, and their concerns and aspirations.

Furthermore, Rahman (2019) has established that floods pose significant challenges for the sustained functioning of specific households and businesses in affected communities. The type of construction in a given area significantly influences the extent of flood damage, with thatched homes being more vulnerable compared to concrete high-rise buildings, each experiencing varying levels of impact. Thus, the concept of vulnerability plays a critical role in assessing the consequences of floods, as different population segments face distinct levels of risk based on their socioeconomic vulnerabilities. Consequently, flood mitigation measures are increasingly associated with endeavors aimed at achieving sustainable development. Additionally, the interplay between flood disasters and economic systems has become another pivotal consideration for sustainable development. Although it is impossible to completely prevent floods, their devastating impacts can be significantly mitigated when advanced warning systems are in place. It is in the light of these that the study seeks to investigate on flood occurrence and its consequences in Nairobi, Kenya.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigation on flood occurrence and its consequences in Nairobi, Kenya. Specifically, the study will;

  1. Ascertain the prevalence of flood in Nairobi, Kenya.

  2. Ascertain the risk factors associated with the occurrence of flood in Nairobi, Kenya.

  3. Ascertain the consequences of flood in Nairobi, Kenya.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What is the prevalence of flood in Nairobi, Kenya?

  2. What are the risk factors associated with the occurrence of flood in Nairobi, Kenya?

  3. What are the consequences of flood in Nairobi, Kenya?

1.5 Significant of the Study

The research will provide valuable insights to the government and engineering professionals regarding the adoption of flood prevention methods. These methods may include the construction of reservoirs, river channels, natural detention basins, inter-basin water transfer systems, as well as the building of levees and flood walls. Furthermore, it will assist policymakers in formulating effective communication strategies to engage communities in addressing the persistent flooding issues. Additionally, it will aid in the development of an action plan for mitigation strategies based on the perspectives gathered.Furthermore, this research will be useful to media house to disseminate information on weather, the need for river and drainage monitoring, and keeping people informed of flood risks and its preventive measures.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to an investigation on flood occurrence and its consequences in Nairobi, Kenya.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an investigation on flood occurrence and its consequences in Nairobi, Kenya. Theoretically, this study will ascertain the prevalence of flood in Nairobi, Kenya, ascertain the risk factors associated with the occurrence of flood in Nairobi, Kenya and ascertain the consequences of flood in Nairobi, Kenya.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to residents in Nairobi, Kenya

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Flood: is caused by a combination of heavy rainfall causing river / oceans to over flow their banks, and can happen at any time of the year.

Occurrence : the fact of something existing or being found in a place or under a particular set of conditions.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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  • Methodology: Yes available


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