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Moi University (2017)

Early Warning Communication for Flood Disaster Preparedness and response in Tana River County, Kenya : The case of Tana Delta

Mwinami, Joy Ayuma

Titre : Early Warning Communication for Flood Disaster Preparedness and response in Tana River County, Kenya : The case of Tana Delta

Auteur : Mwinami, Joy Ayuma

Université de soutenance : Moi University

Grade : MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES 2017

Résumé
Early warning communication is a branch of crisis communication that has been adopted into community knowledge and practice for disaster preparedness. There is, however, a concern that in many cases, early warning on impending disasters has not translated into appropriate and timely actions towards saving lives and livelihoods. While early warning has been noted to be necessary for reducing disaster losses, studies indicate that early warning communication does not necessarily lead to early and appropriate response from the target communities.The main objective of the study was to evaluate how early warning messages on floods in Tana River County were packaged and the dissemination strategies used to communicate the messages to the community. The questions that the study sought to answer were on the content of the flood warning messages, if the messages were understood by the community and the adequacy of the strategies used in communicating early warning to the community. The underpinning theory of the study was the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, which was key in identifying the motivating factors behind people’s decisions when responding to early warning messages and the disasters when they occur. This study was undertaken in Tana Delta Sub-county in Tana River. The research adopted the qualitative approach, the research design was case study and data was generated using interviews and focus group discussions. A sample population of 25 was selected ; three focus group discussions and seven key-informant interviews were carried out. Sampling procedures were purposive and snowball sampling. The data was transcribed and analysed for themes relevant to the topic. The summary of study findings is that there are considerable weaknesses in framing warning messages and dissemination strategy by institutions charged with the early warning communication, which reduces the effectiveness in enabling the community to take protective action to reduce the negative impact of floods. The study recommends that there is need for communicators of early warning messages to look at the design of the messages on flood warnings and to take into consideration the three elements of early warning communication, which are forecasting, dissemination and response. It is envisaged that the findings of the study will be helpful to the communicators of early warning messages to reconsider the message formulation and strategies of communication. The findings will also be useful in guiding the formulation of a disaster management policy.

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Page publiée le 18 novembre 2018