Assessment of Use of GIS Technology in Fire Control Case Study: Nairobi County
Fire control services are critical services in every society which aim at protecting life and property. Kenya has experienced fire breakouts in recent years, where property worth millions of shillings was destroyed and lives were lost. Indeed Urban fire is a menace to property and human lives, for both the developing and developed countries. When a fire breaks out, it requires immediate fire control services. Globally, the fire control system has embraced the use of GIS technology which enhances efficiency in controlling fire incidents, thus saving lives and preventing destruction of property. GIS is computer software that links geographic information (where things are) with descriptive information (what things are). It integrates geographic features with tabular data to assess and better understand real-world problems. Fire services in Nairobi County are mainly provided by the County’s Fire Department. To become competitive and resilience, the County ought to minimize loss of lives and damage to properties. This study seeks to assess the potential of GIS Technology in enhancing the efficiency of Fire Control services, in Nairobi County. Ultimately, for more than a decade, GIS has helped fire departments across the world reduce risk, increase efficiency, and improve outcomes. The report uses spatial and non-spatial data having assessed their validity and reliability. Shapefiles for fire stations, fire hydrants, roads, major hospitals, fire incidents, land uses and population were used as well as statistics for population, fire stations and incidents were captured. The Google earth and ArcGIS version 10.2.2 were the main programs that were applied for the analysis of the data. Through the analysis, the report documents the existing scenario of fire services and it examines the potential of GIS technology applications. The report is organized in chapters; the background of the study, the existing situation on fire control services in Nairobi County, as well as the need for use of GIS program to control fire in Nairobi County and the research objectives that guided the research are presented in chapter 1. Chapter 2: looks at the fire response capacity in Nairobi County, the GIS program and its application in the fire management globally and case studies on how the GIS technology has underpinned efficiency in provision of fire control services. Chapter 3: defines the study area upon which it develops research strategies, data collection and analysis and presentation techniques used. Various research tools, data collection methods and data analysis methods that are particular to the study are identified. The findings from fieldwork and analysis on data to establish the need for use of GIS technology in fire control in Nairobi County are outlined in Chapter 4. Finally, Chapter 5 concludes and outlines recommendations based on the findings and analysis of the study. The report concludes that, there is need for the fire department to apply GIS technology in fire control operations. It recommends that, the GIS technology will have great impact in ascertaining the location of fire stations, data storage, analysis and assessing the functionality of fire hydrants. In return this will go a long way in saving lives and loss of property.