AN EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CURRENT STORM WATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

ABSTRACT

 

The high rate of urbanization globally and even regionally has caused a strain on stormwater management. This can be attributed to the unplanned developments within major cities and towns which eventually overwhelms the storm water management infrastructure that already exists. On the other hand, even where there are planned developments, some developers do not put into consideration all factors which could contribute to storm water challenges.  This is especially the case where there is a season of heavy rains which often result to flooding incidents in different parts of the city which has an effect not only on the economy but also on public health. This project evaluated the effectiveness of the storm water management practices in Green Park Estate. Based on the specific objectives, this study also sought to evaluate how Athi River may have contributed to the occurrence of the flooding incident. This could be due to the fact that that part of the estate may have been constructed too close to the river. According to (Allen, 2004), land that is adjacent to the coast is the tidal zone and along inland water bodies is where seasonal water levels fluctuating including floods are accommodated. If one does not give room for such events and continues to practice whatever form of land use activity, they are not only putting themselves in harm’s way but also endangering the natural processes and ecosystem.

This study adopted a survey research design which had a structured questionnaire as the main data collection tool. The target population for this study was 210 households, all from the first cluster of the estate. A sample size of 54 households was arrived at using spatial clustering and these households were selected at intervals of 4. Out of the houses that were able to give back their feedback, the quantitative primary data gathered was finally analyzed using descriptive statistics.  Detailed observations and also use of photography were able to capture the type of storm water management practices applied within the estate and also how the closeness of the river to the estate may have resulted in the failure of the practices in place. Focus group discussions were also held with some respondents.

According to the findings, most respondents attributed the floods to over flow from the river. The storm water management techniques used are not effective on that aspect thus there is a need for strategies to tackle issues that surround buildings that are on riparian reserves and what remedies can be put to building on such areas. This will go a long way in reducing the level of destruction and damages that arises from flooding incidences.

There is need for developers, planners, consultants and the local authorities to come up with best management practices for storm water that are suitable for different forms of developments and areas. This should be guided by them also developing standard forms of guidelines that will act as a basis for adopting any storm water management practice that will incorporate both big projects and small projects.