Assessment of Flood Management in South C Ward of Nairobi City County, Kenya
Floods are hydro meteorological hazards that perennially affect Nairobi City County, often leading to loss of lives, destruction of property and disruption of essential services. This study sought to understand the various aspects surrounding these flood hazards by focussing on South C ward; which has been perennially affected by floods. In this regard, this study first sought to assess the flooding patterns of the ward and subsequent effects of these floods. The second objective was to assess the factors that influence the vulnerability of South C to flooding. Finally, the study examined the policy, legal and institutional framework in place to deal with issues of flooding in the City. Topographical maps, climate data analysis, field observation checklists, interviews, questionnaires and review of literature were used to collect data. According to 48% of the respondents, South C has experienced perennial flooding for the past 5 years with reduced accessibility and destruction of property being among the most significant effects according to 54% and 18% of respondents respectively. In so far as vulnerability is concerned, the study found that geographically, South C is vulnerable to flooding as a result of its being located at a floodplain, where major rivers from the Ngong hills drain. This vulnerability is further exacerbated by poorly maintained solid waste disposal and storm water management infrastructure. The study also found that there are 10 laws and policies that should deal with matters related to flooding but none of them addresses the matter adequately. The draft national disaster management policy groups floods as an environmentally-triggered hazard but gives no specific policy recommendations on dealing with floods in cities; Nairobi city included. The flood mitigation strategy only acknowledges that, in addition to low-lying areas of the country, there is perennial occurrence of floods in urban centres. The document, however, doesn‟t offer further guidelines on how to deal with the same. This study recommends that in addition to incorporating structural measures such as setting up of sustainable urban drainage systems and control of solid waste dumping, there is a need to include specific flood risk management guidelines into existing regulations, as well as strengthen the institutions tasked with matters of flood disaster mitigation and management.
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