Chapter 20 – Overview of Landslide Occurrences in Kenya: Causes, Mitigation, and Challenges
Kipseba, Enoch K
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Natural disasters disrupt people's lives through displacements, destruction of livelihoods and property, deaths, and injuries. Consequently, they take back years of development, thus posing a major challenge to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals especially the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015 and Kenya's set development goals as contained in Vision 2030. The nature of natural disasters in Kenya especially landslides has constantly eroded the recovery capacity of communities especially in the affected areas, hence affecting their economic development year in year out. This requires more vigorous attention and planning to mitigate the effects as they have impacted greatly on the country's fight against poverty and efforts to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line. The economic cost of the impact of landslides in the past has been estimated in millions of shillings. This chapter provides a background on landslides in Kenya, the most common locations/areas affected by landslides in Kenya, factors contributing to vulnerability to landslides in Kenya, and economic and social impacts of landslides in Kenya. The impact of such hazards is compounded by poverty and lack of adequate resources to develop the affected areas, rendering the populations more vulnerable. The chapter highlights on the need to take up a proactive strategy in the management of natural disasters in Kenya, which would improve the coping capacity of communities, lessen the impact, and therefore improve the lives of Kenyans in the areas prone to harsh weather conditions. A clear vision for future actions is inevitably necessary to set the pace for development aimed at mitigating the impact of landslides in Kenya, thereby improving the lives of communities in Kenya.