Slum Fire Fighting Strategies for Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Kibera, Nairobi County, Kenya

Abstract:

Slum fires impose significant social and economic costs including loss of life, destruction of health, property, dwellings and jobs while the interlinked physical and social vulnerabilities expose the urban poor not to single but multiple risks. Disaster preparedness and mitigation are the main methods of protecting such communities against fire disasters. This study sought to examine fire safety mechanisms and their effect on prevalence of fire disasters in Kenya slums. Nairobi will further absorb another 5 million people in the next two decades who will seek residence in slums and will join the slum population which is already vulnerable and reeling with poverty and continues to lose life, property and livelihood due to fire disasters in slums. The site of the study was Kibera is a division of Nairobi Area, Kenya, and neighbourhood of the city of Nairobi, located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the city centre. Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi, and the second largest urban slum in Africa. The neighbourhood is divided into a number of villages, including Soweto East, Gatwekera, Kisumu Ndogo, Lindi, Laini Saba, Siranga, Makina and Mashimoni. A part from the low class, the majority of those who live in Kibera slum are poor who lived below the poverty line. Sampling was done for each of the eight villages which were divided into two clusters and from each, three households were selected using simple random sampling was done for each of the eight villages which were selected using simple random sampling and in each, one person chosen by purposive sampling to give a total sample size of forty eight persons. The study revealed that 46.9% of participants have experience ten and more incidents of fire in Kibera slum within a year while 36.7 % have witnessed fire disasters. The cause of most fires in Kibera slum is unattended stoves by drunken residents, electric faults, and congested houses made of combustible materials and presence of kerosene. Majority of the respondents did not know of any fire safety mechanism while some had poor knowledge about fire safety mechanisms. Neighbours were the most active group in fighting fire at followed distantly by the fire brigade at a very minimal percentage. The challenges faced by residents when coping with fire are poor infrastructure and lack of safety equipment and little knowledge over handling of inflammable materials. Many of the respondents also felt that community sensitization to fire preventive measures was the best option for sustaining effective fire safety mechanisms while approximately a third of them thought that putting fire safety measures in practice would help, while another group said that the government needed to ensure effectiveness of the fire brigade. Majority of the participants pointed to the need to increase awareness on how to mitigate and deal with fire disaster while others appealed to the government to provide safety facilities. Another group also felt that the need for efficiency and effectiveness of the fire brigade and improving the infrastructure such as roads would be solution to the challenge of fire disasters. Important recommendations for acting against fire incidents include the government increasing capacity in fire safety mechanisms by reducing prevalence of fire disaster s in slums through enhancement of disaster management capability by mainstreaming DM .Provision of effective capability for harmonized and standardized rapid response to disaster by coordinated participation of all stakeholders at all levels is also important. Other strategies are rapid and effective response to disaster, promotion of high compliance in construction against fire outbreaks in the slum
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APA

Nsikak, E (2024). Slum Fire Fighting Strategies for Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Kibera, Nairobi County, Kenya. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/slum-fire-fighting-strategies-for-sustainable-development-a-case-study-of-kibera-nairobi-county-kenya

MLA 8th

Nsikak, Edobot "Slum Fire Fighting Strategies for Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Kibera, Nairobi County, Kenya" Afribary. Afribary, 03 May. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/slum-fire-fighting-strategies-for-sustainable-development-a-case-study-of-kibera-nairobi-county-kenya. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

MLA7

Nsikak, Edobot . "Slum Fire Fighting Strategies for Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Kibera, Nairobi County, Kenya". Afribary, Afribary, 03 May. 2024. Web. 19 Jun. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/slum-fire-fighting-strategies-for-sustainable-development-a-case-study-of-kibera-nairobi-county-kenya >.

Chicago

Nsikak, Edobot . "Slum Fire Fighting Strategies for Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Kibera, Nairobi County, Kenya" Afribary (2024). Accessed June 19, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/slum-fire-fighting-strategies-for-sustainable-development-a-case-study-of-kibera-nairobi-county-kenya