The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) has handed over six County Hazard Atlas maps to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). The main purposes of the consultancy included developing a hazard and disaster risk profile for the six counties and undertaking a capacity gap analysis for stakeholders in the counties.
In his comments during the handing over ceremony, the RCMRD Director, Technical Services Directorate Prof. John Bosco Kyalo Kiema, highlighted the importance of this consultancy and thanked UNDP for supporting NDMA to develop the County hazards through RCMRD. He noted that these maps would support other on-going programs to ensure delivery of high quality science-based products that support resilience to extreme weather events.
He observed that Hazard identification and risk assessment is vital for the effective prevention and/or management of disasters, and county governments have obligations under the Devolution Act to manage the involved risks. Disasters, he said had negatively impacted the livelihoods of people in various counties.
Mr. Degelo Sendabo (Remote Sensing Officer, RCMRD) who led the team developing the maps made a presentation in relation to the County Hazard Atlas project and the important role of Geoinformation in the integrated development plans for each county. He said a hazard map is a map that portrays levels of probability of a hazard occurring across a geographical area. Such maps can focus on one hazard only or include several types of hazards (multi-hazard map).
He added that the purpose of these hazard atlases is to improve efforts to reduce disaster risk and respond effectively when disaster strikes. The atlases are visual tools which bring together basic information about the various hazards faced by the people of several counties in Kenya.
Ngugi Kimani, SERVIR-Eastern & Southern Africa GIS and Database Applications Lead and GIS System Developer/ System Administrator gave an overview on the platforms that the maps will be disseminated on i.e an interactive Map viewer CD and how to access the maps via an opendata site.
NDMA representatives led by Julius Akeno thanked RCMRD for a job well done and said they will plan for the development of similar maps for the 23 other counties that are yet to develop County Hazard Atlas maps. “These are important reference documents for counties. The rationale for doing this is that the county administration and collaborating partners have a duty to the county’s population to protect them from and/or mitigate the effects of humanitarian crises,” he said noting that this has to be an on-going basis which should be undertaken at various times, including when new hazards are identified.