Managing flooding in residential areas of Nairobi: a case study of south C

Author: Ketter, , K George

Supervisor: Laban Shihembesta

Despite of the fact that flooding is witnessed both in urban and rural areas, its occurrence in urban areas has a unique nature, as the built environment plays a major role in its occurrence in addition to the natural phenomenon of heavy rains over time. This study is premised on the view that urbanization leads to an increase in percentage of land covered by the built up environment to accommodate the rising population in urban areas, hence reducing ground water absorption rates consequently increasing storm water flow on pavements and tarmacked areas. On the same premise, natural channels are obstructed by the built up areas hence hampering natural flow of storm water leading to flooding. The research identified South C neighbourhood in Nairobi as one of the most affected residential areas by floods during rainy seasons. The study focused on the causes of flooding witnessed over time, discussing the identifiable impact on human life, daily activities as well as economy of the country and how various management tools can be applied to aid in controlling the flooding problem that is becoming a major concern to the urban residents as a whole. The study was conducted through multi-dimensional approach of data collection. Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were used and those areas most affected by flooding phenomenon mapped out. The study proposes interventions to curb flooding categorized into: Management of storm water drainage systems, establishment of specific building by laws in flood areas and enforcement of development control measures, putting in place disaster management structures, Multi-dimensional and intergovernmental approach in flood management as well as stakeholders’ involvement to flood management.