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AN EXAMINATION ON THE CAUSES AND MANAGEMENT OF FLOOD IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS IN KENYA

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AN EXAMINATION ON THE CAUSES AND MANAGEMENT OF FLOOD IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS IN KENYA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

One type of calamity that occurs globally on a variety of scales and in various locations each year is flooding, 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.

Conceptually, the term flood is refer to as a body of water overflowing the river channels. Floods are associated with some extreme natural events that happen over a drainage basin. However,Kenya has seen some of the most severe and deadly flooding since the first recorded floods in 1961–1962, with the most extensive and El Niño-induced floods occurring in 1997–1998 (Owuor, 2015). Also, it was projected that the El Niño floods caused financial damages of US$800 million (Karanja et al., 2018). In addition, the problem of flooding has become perennial, every time taking back years of development and costing millions of dollars in reconstruction and recovery.

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. Natural processes such as hurricanes, weather systems and snow melt can cause floods. Also, other forms of floods following tsunamis and coastal surges have natural causes like earthquakes in the seabed and high tides attributed to the pull of the moon (Adams, 2018). 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, unplanned urban living has been identified as a significant contributor to flooding events in many developing countries. In arid regions like Kitui, climate change has resulted in long dry seasons which sometimes alternate with too much rainfall that falls within a short time causing floods (International Society for Development and Sustainability). Similarly, some of the informal settlements located at the edge of the sea get regularly flooded due to high tides. The situation will be further exacerbated by the rise in the sea level due to the impact of climate change.

Additionally, flood management should be integrated into the broader national development planning strategies of each area in Kenya and necessitates strategic institutional arrangements and collaborations to ensure sustainable flood management. Managing floods in isolation typically leads to fragmented, localized approaches, as highlighted by the World Meteorological Organization (2021. The flood disaster management process should also be coordinated with related fields. For instance, disaster mitigation efforts should take into account the impact on human health during flooding, such as cholera and malaria, to more effectively address health issues that arise during and after floods.

The management of floods encompasses various approaches, ranging from traditional methods to integrated approaches. Traditionally, responding to severe floods involved ad-hoc reactions and the rapid implementation of projects that considered both the problem and its solution as distinct and self-evident. Traditional approaches often overlooked the consequences for upstream and downstream flood risks (World Meteorological Organization, 2021). Consequently, flood management practices have predominantly focused on reducing flooding and minimizing vulnerability to flood damage. Traditional flood management has employed both structural and non-structural interventions, encompassing physical and institutional measures. These interventions have occurred before, during and after flooding, and have often overlapped. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to examine the causes and management of flood in residential areas in Kenya.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Flood hit roads and cause delays to infrastructure development initiatives and political processes (Charles, K.,2019) observed that the economic impact of natural disasters shows a marked upward trend over the last decades. The hazards tend to hit communities in developing and least developed countries more. Also, Lei, Y., & Kargel, J. S. (2019) asserts that flood have led to the loss of human life, destruction of social and economic infrastructure and degradation of already fragile ecosystems. It follows therefore that social impacts include changes in people’s ways of life, their culture, community, political systems, environment, health and well being, their personal and property rights and their fears and aspirations.

Additionally, Rahman (2019), established that floods cause significant problems for the long term functioning of specific types of households and businesses in affected communities. The type of construction in the area significantly influenced the extent of flood damage (for instance, thatched homes as opposed to concrete high-rise buildings would experience varying levels of impact). As a result, vulnerability plays a crucial role in evaluating the effects of floods. Different segments of the population face varying degrees of risk relative to their socioeconomic vulnerabilities. As a result, flood mitigation measures have become increasingly associated with initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable development. Additionally, the connections between flood disasters and economic systems have become another essential consideration for sustainable development. While it's impossible to completely prevent floods, their devastating impacts can be significantly reduced if advanced warnings are accessible. Therefore, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to examine the causes and management of flood in residential areas in Kenya.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the causes and management of flood in residential areas in Kenya. Specifically, the study will;

  1. Determine the causes of flood in Kitui country, Kenya.

  2. Determine the impact of flood in Kitui country, Kenya.

  3. Determine the strategies for curbing flooding in Kitui country, Kenya.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What are the causes of flooding in Kitui County, Kenya?

  2. What is the impact of flooding on Kitui County, Kenya?

  3. What strategies are in place for mitigating flooding in Kitui County, Kenya?

1.5 Significant of the Study

An examination on the causes and management of flood in residential areas in Kenya will be revealed to the government at various levels, policy makers, experts of meteorology, hydrology, geomorphology, engineering experts, media houses and residents in this study. The study will reveal to the government and engineering experts on adopting methods of preventing floods by construction of reservoirs, river channels, natural detention basins, inter-basin water transfer, construction of levees and flood walls. Also, it will additionally help policy makers develop communication strategies to engage the communities most effectively to deal with the recurrent flooding and to develop an action plan for mitigation strategies based on these perceptions. 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 examination on the causes and management of flood in residential areas in Kenya.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an examination on the causes and management of flood in residential areas in Kenya. Theoretically, this study will determine the causes of flood in Kitui county, Kenya, determine the impact of flood in Kitui county, Kenya and determine the strategies for curbing flooding in Kitui county, Kenya.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to residents in Kitui county, 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.

Risk: a situation involving exposure to dangers or implications of flood.


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



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  • Reference(s):

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  • Methodology: Yes available


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