River flood hazard management in the netherlands - a reference for Kenya
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Throughout history man has been attracted to the land adjacent to rivers. The soil is normally fertile, there is a constant water supply, it is a cheap means of transportation etc. Settlements along or beside rivers are however hazardous. Once in a while, the rivers may overflow their banks and inundate the built up areas resulting in damage to crops and property, and sometimes loss of life as well. Netherlands is worldly renown for its fight against floods. Therefore other countries can emulate a lot. The study tried to investigate the flood control and management practices in the Netherlands, and the feasibility of applying some of the methods to a developing country like Kenya. From the study, the importance of good institutional framework is exemplified. A clear definition of flood management policy is essential if a country is to establish and maintain adequate arrangements to deal with floods. In identifying what options are available as elements of national policy, it is useful to study all aspects of hazard management, namely; prevention (mitigation), preparedness, response and recovery. As one African saying goes, prevention is better than cure. But due to the social-economic constraints and engineering feasibility problems, some mitigation measures are beyond the reach for many developing countries. Therefore structural mitigation measures are not the most cost-effective methods for solving flood problems. The best methods are non-structural since they involve little costs and are more sustainable. Preparedness, response, and recovery must be covered in national policy to the best possible extent through government decrees, statements, legislation, regulations and other means.