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Political will; The cog in the wheel of disaster risk reduction policy and governance in kenya

Author: 
Truphena E. Mukuna
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction for 2009 acknowledged the importance of good governance for sustained efforts in disaster risk reduction. Natural and manmade disasters put development gains at risk, but development choices in turn can increase disaster risks. Despite these escalating losses, more than 95% of humanitarian finance is still spent on respond¬ing to disasters and their aftermath, with less than 5% spent on reducing the risk of disasters. The challenge for the DRM community is to ensure that risk management is prioritized in these policy frameworks and fully integrated in institutional and sector practices, to help save lives, protect livelihoods and reduce economic losses. Good governance is expected to elevate disaster risk reduction into a policy priority, allocate the necessary resources to it, ensure and enforce its implementation and assign accountability for failures, as well as facilitate participation by all relevant stakeholders. Decentralization and devolution of power is seen as a means of promoting good governance and participatory development regarded as critical for achieving national goals of poverty eradication as well as the Millennium Development Goals. The New Kenyan Constitution views devolution and decentralization of power as the best means to realize Vision 2030.However, the institutional and legislative arrangements for disaster risk reduction in Kenya are weakly connected to development sectors. Despite the prevailing recognition that good governance and DRR are mutually supportive objectives, understanding of the linkage is still at a nascent stage in Kenya. Although increasingly risk management and reduction is mentioned in governmental development policies, plans and strategies it is not treated as a truly multi sectoral concern. A study was done on integration of DRR education into the education sector policy using Budalangi flood plain as a case study. This paper is advocating for a move towards a more holistic approach premised on the adoption and enforcement of new regulations, action plans, the integration of disaster management into the education system, and the maintenance of a strong institutional framework for coordination, as the main aspirations of the Government.

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