Development of a Decision Support Tool for Kenya's Coastal Management

Volume 5:5

Stella Aura*, Charles Ngunjiri**, Johnson Maina*, Paul Oloo*, John Muthama***

*Kenya Meteorological Department, **Ministry of the East African Community, ***Department of Meteorology, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Corresponding Author

Stella Aura

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Coastal management is critical in view of the danger posed to coastal communities by flooding from the sea due to storm surges, sea level rise and Tsunamis. The low-lying Kenyan coast is vulnerable to these hazards, therefore modelling their effects is necessary for understanding their socio-economic impacts.A Decision Support Tool (DST) was developed to study the hydrodynamics along the Kenyan coast. The bathymetry grid for the DST was created using Arc View GIS from nautical charts. MIKE 21 Hydrodynamic Module (HD) Demo version was used to organize the bathymetry and enforce boundary conditions for ELCOM simulation. Tidal data was obtained from both the Kenya Meteorological Department's tidal gauges and the GLOSS station. The computed tide and currents from ELCOM were validated using graphical and statistical comparison. Their predictive ability was analyzed. The ELCOM water level and currents well to observed values, and their dominant signals were detectable. ELCOM could, therefore, simulate and forecast coastal hydrodynamics. This DST can assist the government in operational forecasting for marine environmental protection, resources management and disaster risk reduction and mitigation as well as infrastructure mapping and development along the Kenyan coast.

Keywords: Coastal flooding, ELCOM, MIKE 21, Marine environment management, Disaster risk reduction, Kenyan coast

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