An investigation into the preparedness for disasters in secondary schools in Ruiru division, Thika district, Kenya
Mururi, Wangui Susan
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Disaster is an overwhelming event that involves the destruction including injury and loss of lives and they become common events that pose serious threats to Public health. The objective of the study was to establish preparedness in disaster management in Secondary Schools in Ruiru Division in Thika District, Kenya. The study targeted the students, teaching staff and the supportive staff from Ruiru Division Secondary Schools. The findings of the study were designed to benefit the school administrators, disaster managers, researchers, scholars, policy makers and the funding Agencies with an aim of improving the health and safety of the Secondary School community and those living in the schools environs and spare the already strained economy of this country. To achieve a desired representation from the various Secondary School, a stratified simple random sampling technique was employed where a sample size of 120 was realised and participated in the study voluntarily. To assess disaster preparedness in the selected secondary schools, the researcher gathered detailed, descriptive information from the respondents by use of simplified and closed ended questionnaire, in-depth interview and observation check list. The data obtained was entered and analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and confirmed lack of provisions for disaster management in secondary schools. The respondents did not know how to use the first aid kit elements(x2=835.263, p = 0.000, df =1). Lack of knowledge on use of first aid elements was significantly high among the respondents which also reflected lack of skills to manage minor incidences ( X2 =835.1, P= 0.000, df = 1)Lack of knowledge on where to keep the first aid kit was significantly high among the respondents(x2=474.386, p=0.000, df=1). The respondents confessed the lack of preparedness for disasters in their schools. (x= 840.8, P= 0.0, df = 2).The level of knowledge where information was highlighted in the media and the daily nations like the collapse of the building along Ronald Ngala in 2006 street was significantly high among the respondents (x2=0.175, p=0.675, df =1). Therefore information education and communication (IEC) played a big role disaster management because there was a significant relation on (IEC) and knowledge about this particular disaster. The respondent knew the common disasters in Ruiru Division ( x2 =571.482, p = 0.000, df =2). Analysed data were presented in tables, figures, graphs and statements. There was lack of preparedness in the secondary schools in Ruiru division. The Ministry of Education should adopt a wide range of strategies to mitigate and prepare for disasters in schools by increasing the knowledge and skills of the communities within the secondary schools and their environs. Those in authority should also ensure the necessary tools for disaster management are available and operational at all times.