Effects of Extreme Flooding of Lake Baringo on Livelihoods of Communities Lining around the Lake
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Floods are among the natural disasters that often impact society. Floods tend to be more short lived but more disastrous. Between 2012 and 2014, Lake Baringo experienced unprecedented increases in their water levels, resulting in calamitous flooding that has inundated entire villages. A study was conducted to establish among others the impacts of this flooding on livestock, health and livelihoods. This paper discusses the effects of extreme flooding of Lake Baringo on livelihoods of communities living around the lake. The data was collected qualitatively from key informants. The data was analysed thematically and presented qualitatively. The paper argues that extreme flooding had adverse effects on livelihoods as farmlands and grazing pasture land were inundated. Families and households were displaced further breaking not just their pursuit of livelihoods but also social networks. Businesses, including tourist and fisheries as well as value chains were impaired thus leading to challenges in sustaining lives and livelihoods. While adaptation is an important way forward, early warning mechanisms would need to be put in place to ensure safeguards to livelihoods.