Effects Of Flood Disaster Preparedness On Learning In Public Secondary Schools In Bunyala District, Busia County, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which students, teachers and school principals are prepared to handle flood disasters in their institutions and specifically in Bunyala district in Kenya. The country experiences floods at the lower River Tana, the areas around the shores of Lake Victoria and the lower River Nzoia. The study concentrated mainly in Bunyala district in Busia County and particularly Budalangi division where schools in the south of the region are worst affected. The region is affected by both flash floods and river floods which are caused by heavy rainfall experienced in Cherengani hills and Mt Elgon. The study found that when floods occur, classrooms, dormitories, toilets and playgrounds are severely flooded leading to closure of the schools. The consequence of this action leads to students missing school and therefore smooth learning is disrupted. In addition, text books, school documents, furniture and other equipment are destroyed making learning difficult for some while. The study also found out that local communities sometimes seek shelter in the schools which are situated in areas of high ground( thus not affected by floods) resulting to disrupting the schools’ learning programmes. The impact of the floods also affect infrastructure since the roads become damaged or are impassable thus prohibiting movement of both students and teachers from accessing schools from their respective homesteads. There is need to train teachers on flood disaster preparedness so that they can in turn teach the students and this will result to minimized destruction by floods. Disaster preparedness also needs to be integrated in the school curricula as this will enable students to become better equipped with the necessary knowledge to handle flood disaster. The study also found out that major challenges for example lack of capacity to limit the impact of the disaster and little emphasis in implementing flood drills in schools largely due to lack of resources have tended to affect the management of floods disaster in schools in Bunyala. It also emerged that poor early warning systems and inadequate flood disaster planning in Bunyala district continue to affect how flood disaster preparedness is attained. This study targeted Principals, teachers and students in Public secondary school in Bunyala district. The study Sought to find out the preparedness of Principals and teachers towards floods, how the preparedness of students towards floods affects learning, the mitigation measures in place to respond to floods and challenges faced in disaster preparedness.A total of 7 secondary schools participated in the study. The samples that were studied were 7 Principals, 76 teachers, 328 students and 1 D.E.O. The methods used to collect the data were questionnaires, interview and focus group discussion. Analysis of data was done, using statistical package for social sciences (SPPS). Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used to summarize the data. Research findings revealed that 5 out of 7 schools were affected by floods directly when facilities are flooded or indirectly where schools’ premises are used as shelter by the community when their homesteads are flooded. The findings also revealed that learning was severely disrupted by such actions. The study has suggested the need to train principals, teachers and students on disaster preparedness and further recommended that KIE adopts disaster preparedness programmes in the school curriculum. The research also raises suggestions for further studies to cover the influence of early warning on disaster mitigation in public schools and disaster training of the school management in curbing disasters.