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Research Proposal on Vulnerability of Boarding Schools to Disasters in Kenya

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Effects of Disasters on Education in Kenya


Disasters slow down the progress towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Disaster-hit families, often fail to send children to school. An appropriate school environment provides adequate level of inputs, such as: personnel, learning materials and facilities that must accompany the learning process for its efficiency and effectiveness. The greater the quality and quantity of inputs the better the quality of output which will satisfy the expectation of the society and the government. In disasters affected areas in Western Kenya, that include Budalangi, Kubasali and Mt. Elgon hardly any resources remain to provide learning materials and facilities once the disaster occurs. Although the problem has been acknowledged by the Ministry of Education and the Government, little has been done to address it and so children’s performance has remained hampered because of the very paucity of the learning environment. This situation has its greatest negative effects on students who are below the average performance or who need special attention The weak students will always repeat the same grade severally without improvement which results in dropping out of the school cycle. Educational attainment is a fundamental determinant of human vulnerability and marginalization. Basic literacy and numeric skills enable individuals to become more engaged in their society. The destruction of schools is one very direct way in which disasters can inhibit educational attainment but perhaps more important is the drain on household resources that slow and sudden onset disasters inflict. Households frequently have to make difficult decisions on expending resources on survival and coping with poverty, or on investments to alleviate human vulnerability and enhance longer-term development prospects. Historically the education sector has been marginalized in disaster prone regions. Yet education plays pivotal role in enhancing sustainable development in the nation, this should be considered when planning policies and making operational decisions concerning primary and secondary education.

The Ministry of Education of Kenya has provided a guideline for schools in times of disasters. Disaster is defined as an emergency event that occurs with little or no warning, causing extensive destruction of property, lives and disruption of normal operations. Disaster can be divided into two broad categories – natural disasters and man-made disasters. Natural disasters are calamities that occur without human involvement. They include earthquakes, floods, drought, landslides and volcanic eruption and wind storms. The man-made disasters are calamities caused by the actions of human beings either directly or indirectly. They include wild wires. Oil spillage, industrial accidents, pollution and bomb blasts.  

Alleviating Vulnerability through Disaster Risk Reduction

            Disaster risk reduction (DRR) refers to actions designed to minimize destruction of life, property and disruption of normal operations. There needs to be disaster risk strategy if the effects of disasters are be minimized. this risk reduction strategy calls for the establishment of a disaster Crisis Response Team with the mandate to prevent, mitigate and effectively prepare against potential disaster hazards. It also includes organizing and carrying out rescue and rehabilitation operations during and after a disaster has struck.


The planned methodology is secondary research. The researcher will make use of published materials such as books, magazines and newspapers to collect data and information regarding the topic. The researcher will also make use of the internet to obtain information about the company such as its background and other related information. For the research, the researcher will mainly rely on secondary data in obtaining the information. Due to inaccessibility of the subject or the case study, other research methods are not applicable. Secondary data are data that have been collected for some other purpose. Secondary data can provide a useful source from which to answer the research question(s). Punch (1998) mentions several advantages of using existing data. Expenditure on obtaining data can be significantly reduced and data analysis can begin immediately, so saving time. Also, the quality of some data may be superior to anything the researcher could have created alone (Thomas, 2004, p. 191). On the other hand, the chosen research method also has several disadvantages. Data that have been gathered by others for their own purposes can be difficult to interpret when they are taken out of their original context. It is also much more difficult to appreciate the weak points in data that have been obtained by others. The data may be only partially relevant to the current research question (Thomas, 2004, p. 191).


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