FLOOD IMPACT-BASED FORECASTING FOR EARLY WARNING AND EARLY ACTION IN TANA RIVER BASIN, KENYA
Keywords: community risk assessment, vulnerability, flood impacts, forecast-based action
Abstract. Kenya is mostly affected by floods during the March-April-May (MAM) and October-November-December (OND) rainfall. This often occurs along river basins such as the Tana river basin, leading to disruption of people’s livelihoods, loss of lives, infrastructure destruction and interruption of economic activities. This study used openly available data on flood exposure, vulnerability, lack of coping capacity, flood impacts and observed satellite rainfall to analyse and predict forecast-based impacts in Tana river. Earth observation satellites including LANDSAT, sentinel 1 and 2 were acquired based on credible flood event dates to validate flood exposure and flood events. The community risk assessment (CRA) approach was used to delineate communities at high risk of floods using combination of data on vulnerability, flood exposure and lack of coping capacity. Using an ordinary least squares (OLS) predictive model, observed satellite rainfall was used as a covariate in order to predict flood impacts on communities with high flood risk scores in Tana river. Weighted scores from the CRA dimensions were summed up with forecasted hazards from the OLS model in order to derive a flood impact-based forecast. The flood impact information is to be used in forecast-based action through early warning, early action protocols thereby reducing impacts of potential floods in communities living in high flood risk areas based on the flood risk map.