Assessment of strategies used to control flood disasters in public primary schools in Nyatike division, Kenya.
Ogidi, Ochieng B
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Floods have been a menace in many parts of the world with fatal results. Kenya has not been spared the loss of lives and damages to property that result from the floods. This necessitated the Strategy for Integrated Flood Management under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Kenya. Despite these measures, communities in general and schools in particular continue to suffer the ravages of floods even though it would be expected that a community that has lived through a disaster would learn from the experience and thus be better prepared if faced with a similar situation. To this end the study assessed the strategies used to control floods in public primary schools in Nyatike Division, Kenya. The study objective were to determine the influences of warning alert systems, drainage systems, water harvesting, embankment on flood control and to examine the challenges of the implementation of the flood control strategies in the public primary schools. Literature review was based on study objectives, from the reviewed literature it is evident that whilst some of these strategies aid in the control of disasters, some on their own do not do much. Adopting the descriptive research design, the study sampled of 14 head teachers and 42 teachers yielding total sampling matrix of 56 subjects. To collect data the researcher used two sets of questionnaires. Expert judgment and piloting was used to ensure validity of the instruments. To ensure reliability of the instrument the researcher employed test-rest method. Data analysis was descriptive in nature as per the study objective. Qualitative data was subjected to content analysis of emerging themes, while percentages were used to analyze quantitative data. The findings were then presented in frequency tables, pie charts and graphs. The major findings in the study was that early warning did not seem to reduce the effects of floods as the people tended to ignore the warning, there were insufficient water harvesting facilities, drainage system was almost nonexistent while the embankments did little to control the impact of floods. The conclusion was that all the stakeholders in the schools need to be sensitized to heed flood warning, drainage systems should be done with the assistance of experts, water reservoirs need to be increased both in number and capacity while embankments need to be topped and reinforced by other methods that decrease the flow and volume of flood water. The study recommended the upgrading of warning alert systems to give accurate information and the training of the people on the precautions to take, the construction of drainage systems to channel away flood water, the construction of flood barriers, dykes, levees and embankments and their reinforcement with planting of trees and finally the increase of water harvesting facilities to help contain the surface run off