Hazard Analysis of Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) Regions of Kenya

  • J S Tabu
  • J A Otwelo
  • P Koskei
  • P Makokha
Keywords: hazard, natural disaster, disaster risk, arid, Kenya


Introduction: This paper describes a situation analysis on hazards in the Arid and semi-Arid lands of Kenya. The leading hazards affecting the Arid and semi-arid lands are mainly natural and include among others drought, floods, and landslides. Other hazards of importance were found to be war and conflict, HIV/AIDS and fires. Over 80% of these are weather related.
Objectives: The overall objective of this study was to prioritize hazards in the ASAL region. Specifically, the study identified the top ten hazards in the ASAL Districts of Kenya, determined Probability of occurrence; Analyzed the potential impact of the hazard and utilizing multiplier effect prioritized the Hazards using a hypothetical model.
Methodology: This was a descriptive study conducted in over half of the Kenya’s ASAL Districts in four regions of Lower and Upper Eastern, North Eastern and part of the Coast region. Six Districts were purposively selected per region with six officers from each District all totaling one hundred and forty four. The sectors where respondents were sourced from were Agriculture, Health, local Government, and Provincial Administration, Environment and NGO. The members through a consensus process analyzed hazards in groups of their respective districts using a tool that had been developed and respondents trained on its use.
Results: One hundred and forty four (144) officers from Twenty four Districts in the four regions were recruited. One hundred twenty seven(81%) were male and only 27(19% )were female The representation of participants per sector was Governance 25% followed by Civil society organizations 21%, Health 16%, Agriculture and arid lands 15%, Research and scientific institutions 13%. The top Priority Hazards identified using the mean score were Drought and famine (5.4) Epidemics and epizootics (3.8), HIV/AIDS (3.6), War and conflict (2.5), Floods (2.5)
Conclusions: The exercise confirmed the priority hazards in the Arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya and described vulnerability factors that included water scarcity, poverty and low educational levels. The region suffers from a variety of hazards in particular Drought and famine, Epidemics including HIV/AIDS and War and conflict. Environmental degradation though given a low score may be more of a perception. There is need to undertake a comprehensive hazard and Vulnerability analysis at regional and country level to inform interventions and other developmental activities. Women should be targeted at the community and leadership level, and efforts to empower them should be stepped up.

Keywords: hazard, natural disaster, disaster risk, arid, Kenya


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0856-8960