Development of Decision Support Tool for Kenya's Coastal Zone Management
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Coastal management is critical in view of the danger posed to coastal communition es by flooding from the sea due to storm surges, sea-level rise and Tsunamis. The low-lying Kenyan coast is vulnerable to these hazards, therefore modeling their eff ects is necessary for understanding their socio-economic impacts. A Decision Support Tool (DST) was developed to study the hydrodynamics along the Kenyan coast. The bathymetry grid for the DST was created using Arc View GIS from nautical charts. MIKE 21 Hydrodynamic Module (HD) Demo version was used to organize the bathymetry and enforce boundary conditions for ELCOM simulation. Tidal data was obtained from both the Kenya Meteorological Department’s tidal gauges and the GLOSS station. The computed tide and currents from ELCOM were validated using graphical and statistical comparison. Their predictive ability was analyzed. The ELCOM water levels and currents compared well to observed values, and their dominant signals were detectable. ELCOM could, therefore, simulate and forecast coastal hydrody-namics. This DST can assist the Government in operati onal forecasting for marine environmental protecti on, resources management and disaster risk reducti on and mitigati on as well as infrastructure mapping and de-velopment along the Kenyan coast.