Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 616

Full Length Research Paper

Disasters in Kenya: A major public health concern

Marion W. Mutugi* and Samuel G. Maingi
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology P. O. Box: 62000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Published: 31 January 2011


A disaster is defined as an event or series of events, which give rise to casualties and/or damage or loss of property, infrastructure, essential services or means of livelihoods on a scale which is beyond the normal capacity of the affected community to cope with unaided. This event or events disrupt the normal patterns of life (or ecosystem) and extraordinary emergency interventions are required to save and preserve human lives and/or the environment. Disasters can either be manmade or natural, and either of slow or rapid onset. The objective of this work was to review disasters that have happened in Kenya in the last twenty five years in respect to their public health impact, community perceptions and preparedness. Results indicate that there is inadequate preparedness and responses despite the repetitive nature of specific disaster episodes. This may be due to economic, social, and cultural barriers prevent effective devolution of mitigating institutional and policy frameworks from central institutions to local communities.


Key words: Disasters, Kenya.