Active Projects: 1

GDP (current US$): $70.52 billion (2016)

Population: 48.46 million (2016)

Major Partners

World Bank, European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

INFORM Risk Rating: 5.9

Risk data from INFORM, a global open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters, uses a scale from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of risk.

Primary Hazards

For additional information on the natural hazard risk profile, visit ThinkHazard.


Hazard Risk 

Recurring disasters, particularly droughts and floods, have significantly impacted livelihoods and economic development in Kenya. Flood and drought events are becoming more frequent, with drought cycles occurring every 2-3 years instead of every 5-7 years. A severe and prolonged drought from 2008–2011 affected 3.7 million people, caused $12.1 billion in damages and losses, and totaled over $1.7 billion in recovery and reconstruction needs, according to a GFDRR-supported post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA).  

Agriculture and livestock, the sectors most heavily impacted by drought, are also the main sources of livelihood for nearly 80 percent of Kenyans. Population growth, urbanization, and increasing demand for energy and water compound Kenya’s drought and flood risk.  

Government Priorities  

The Government of Kenya has taken steps to advance disaster risk management (DRM). These include:  

  • Developing Vision 2030, a national development strategy for 2008–2030, which includes guidelines for DRM and climate change adaptation (CCA);  
  • Drafting a National Policy on Disaster Management in 2009. The government has implemented an interim DRM strategy while the draft is pending ratification; and,  
  • Creating a National Climate Change Action Plan for 2013–2017, which focuses on reducing Kenya’s vulnerability to climate change.  

To further reduce risks and advance a DRM agenda, national priorities include:  

  • Supporting a paradigm shift from post-disaster response to risk reduction;  
  • Incorporating DRM and CCA policies across sectors and into the national and subnational development planning process; and 
  • Developing a disaster risk financing strategy.  
GFDRR progress to date

GFDRR has supported disaster resilience in Kenya since 2007. Key areas of focus have included damage and loss assessment after major disaster events and building the resilience of agricultural producers and livestock herders to shocks such as droughts and floods.  

From 2007 to 2011, GFDRR primarily engaged with Kenya at the regional level, including a project to build the country’s capacity to develop both national and regional climate models.  

Following the 2008–2011 drought, GFDRR, the World Bank, the EU, the UN, and other partners supported the Government of Kenya in conducting a PDNA. This assessment estimated the drought’s impact and provided recommendations for recovery and long-term resilience. Building on the PDNA, GFDRR supported the design of a $77 million World Bank project in Kenya, which has been helping livestock herders develop coping mechanisms against drought and animal diseases.   

Furthermore, GFDRR has helped the Government of Kenya provide financial protection to vulnerable households affected by natural hazard shocks. GFDRR produced analytical studies and provided technical assistance to the Government of Kenya to develop two programs. An agriculture and livestock insurance program, designed as a public-private partnership, uses technology to monitor the availability of pasture and calculate average yield production. Payouts are triggered to participating pastoralists and farmers when levels fall below a certain threshold.  In addition, the Government of Kenya established a disaster-triggered scalable social cash transfer program. As a result, the government was able to provide 165,000 vulnerable households direct cash transfers during the early stages of a 2015 drought.  

GFDRR anticipates continued demand to: 

  • Strengthen the capacity of the Kenyan DRM Authority; 
  • Build the resilience of poor segments of the population, with a particular focus on the agriculture and livestock sectors; and, 
  • Foster a national policy dialogue to develop a comprehensive DRM program that focuses on risk identification, risk reduction, and financial protection. 

Projects Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

Project Description
Policy Dialogue for the Development of a Comprehensive Natural Disaster Risk Management Program in Kenya
$260,000 01/2015 - 07/2017

This project aims to support the Government of Kenya’s efforts to develop a comprehensive, multipronged disaster risk management program that incorporates concrete actions to enhance national regulatory and institutional capacities for risk identification; risk reduction; disaster preparedness; and financial protection. The goal is to enhance the country’s resilience to adverse natural events in a changing climate.

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
National Safety Net Program for Results $250 million | Start date: 2014-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to support the Republic of Kenya to establish an effective national safety net program for poor and vulnerable households.

Kenya Water Security and Climate Resilience Project $155 million | Start date: 2013-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objectives are to (i) increase availability and productivity of irrigation water for project beneficiaries; and (ii) enhance the institutional framework and strengthen capacity for water security and climate resilience for the country.

Water and Sanitation Service Improvement Project - Additional Financing $300 million | Start date: 2012-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objectives are to increase access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable water supply and sanitation services; and to improve water and wastewater services in the areas served by Athi Water Services Board (AWSB), Costal Water Services Board (CWSB), and Lake Victoria North Water Services Board (LVNWSB).

Kenya Private Sector Power Generation Support Project $166 million | Start date: 2012-1 (Ongoing)

The development objective of the project is to increase electricity generation through independent power producers in Kenya.

Health Sector Support Additional Financing $56.8 million | Start date: 2012-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to support the program and improve: (i) the delivery of essential health services in the recipient's territory, especially for the poor; and (ii) the effectiveness of planning, financing and procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project $250 million | Start date: 2017-2 (Ongoing )

The Project Development Objectives are to increase agricultural productivity and build resilience to climate change risks in the targeted smallholder farming and pastoral communities in Kenya, and in the event of an Eligible Crisis or Emergency, to provide immediate and effective response.

Water and Sanitation Development Project $300 million | Start date: 2017-4 (Ongoing)

The Project Development Objective is to improve water supply and sanitation services in select coastal and northeastern regions in Kenya.

Kenya Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project $200 million | Start date: 2017-9 (Ongoing)

The Project Development Objective is to improve student learning in secondary education and transition from primary to secondary education, in targeted areas.

Additional Financing for the National Safety Net Program for Results $50 million | Start date: 2017-4 (Ongoing)

The Project Development Objective is to provide additional financing that will support the Republic of Kenya’s efforts to establish an effective national safety net program for poor and vulnerable households.