Stochastic Drought Forecasting Exploration for Water Resources Management in the Upper Tana River Basin, Kenya

Stochastic Drought Forecasting Exploration for Water Resources Management in the Upper Tana River Basin, Kenya

Raphael M. Wambua (Egerton University, Kenya), Benedict M. Mutua (Egerton University, Kenya) and James M. Raude (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, BEED, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0788-8.ch054


This chapter presents the trend of drought as a stochastic natural disaster influenced by the climate variability for the upper Tana River basin in Kenya. Drought frequency, duration and intensity in the upper Tana River basin have been increasing over the years. To develop measures for mitigating impacts of drought, the influencing hydro-meteorological parameters and their interaction are necessary. Drought definitions, fundamental concepts of droughts, classification of droughts, types of drought indices, historical droughts and application of artificial neural networks in analyzing impacts of drought on water resources with special focus on a Kenyan river basin is presented. Gaps for more focused research are identified. Although drought forecasting is very vital in managing key sectors such as water, agriculture and hydro-power generation, drought forecasting techniques in Kenya are limited. There is need therefore to develop an effective drought forecasting tool for on-set detection, classification and drought forecasting. The forecasting is necessary for decision making on matters of drought preparedness and proper water resources planning and management.
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2. Background

African countries are among the most vulnerable to impacts of drought and climate variability. The impacts adversely affect the well-being of human population. These impacts are compounded by numerous factors such as vast arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) in the region, high levels of poverty, high population density, and recurrent of diseases. This is expected to multiply the demand for water, food and forage for livestock within the area in the next decades (Okoro et al., 2014). In East Africa, it has been projected that water availability will decline in future due to drought. In addition, there is a likelihood of increased desertification due to decline in seasonal amount of precipitation and alteration of its patterns at different magnitudes for different river basins (Wilby et al., 2006; Mwangi et al., 2013).

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