An Application of Flood Risk Analysis for Impact Based Forecasting in Kenya



Floods continue to be the most devastating natural disasters, whose frequency and intensity are increasing due to climate change. Extreme floods have posed significant risks to most parts of Kenya making it one of the most flood-prone country in the world. As such, disaster resilience projects are important to reduce the impacts of extreme flood events to vulnerable communities. The flood risk analysis approach aims to provide essential information for formulation of disaster prevention policies and decision-making processes for disaster risk reduction.
The Kenya Red Cross Society through the International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs(ICHA),has been implementing the Innovative Approaches for Response Preparedness (IARP) project, which seeks to reduce the impact of climate-related disasters on vulnerable communities through an Early Warning Early Action system. The project employs the innovative Forecast Based Financing (FbF) approach to access humanitarian funding based on forecast information and risk analysis.

Our risk analysis follows a multi-parametric approach; a cross sectional analysis of historical flood impacts, consultations with experts in a Technical Working Group, analysis of openly available data on flood exposure, vulnerability and lack of coping capacity to understand the flood prone areas, impact levels and elements required to implement anticipatory actions. The results showed, that the western region has high flood exposure while most part of North-Eastern and Coastal areas have high vulnerability risk index. Combination of the two risk components indicates that Western, North-Eastern and Coastal regions, had the highest flood risk index. The results of this study contribute to the understanding of flood risk and demonstrate that the risk-analysis method can be used to identify, assess, and coordinate early actions that mitigate the impacts of floods.