Strategies of Natural Disaster Risk Management in the Public Sector in Kenya

Volume 7:2
Samuel W. Kahuha

Among the many challenges facing Kenya today is the menace of natural disasters, which have become a perennial problem affecting the country. Disasters cause suffering to communities and economic losses to the country. Projections indicate that Natural Disasters will not only increase in frequency but will also be more severe. Disasters are caused by a myriad of both natural and human factors. Ninety percent (90%) of all natural disasters worldwide are caused by weather related natural hazards, with different regions of the world being more vulnerable to certain types of natural disasters than others.
Africa, and more specifically Kenya, is more vulnerable to hydro-meteorological disasters, among the most prevalent of which are drought, floods and landslides. The study sought to investigate the strategies being taken in disaster risk management at policy level, with mounting evidence that the problem of natural disasters is set to worsen. It also investigated how the management of a cross-cutting service like disaster risk management can be carried out in an effective and efficient manner. Thirdly, the study examined the measures that are necessary to mitigate natural disasters, in order to ensure public safety. The research was carried out in the form of a survey of the public sector institutions responsible for Natural Disaster Risk Management at policy formulation and implementation levels. It established that different institutions implemented their disaster risk management strategies independently with minimal coordination among them. The net effect is a reduction in the overall efficiency and effectiveness of disaster risk management as a function. The study concludes that there is need to reorganize the natural disaster risk management structure in the country, in order to enable the responsible institutions deliver their mandate in a more efficient manner that satisfies all their stakeholders. In this respect, the research gives recommendations on ways to improve the disaster Risk Management function.
Keywords: Natural Disasters, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management Policy
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