Assessing the Vulnerability of the Natural System at Mt. Kasigau, Kenya Utilizing AHP Methodology

Authors: Njoroge Ikonye Gathongo*, University of Tennessee, Liem Tran, University of Tennessee
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Human-Environment Geography, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Vulnerability Assessment, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), Exposure, Sensitivity, Adaptive Capacity, Vulnerability Conceptual Framework.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon A2, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Human activities and natural processes are the key drivers of vulnerability for the natural system. This study assesses the vulnerability of the natural system by focusing on threat posed by human activities. These threats include: charcoal burning, expansion of farms, mining, and cattle grazing. Thus, the overarching goal of this study was to assess the vulnerability of the natural system at five villages (Jora, Kiteghe, Makwasinyi, Bungule, and Rukanga) in Mt. Kasigau, Kenya using an integrated method approach and determine which village was the most vulnerable. In this paper, we adapted a vulnerability conceptual framework that recognizes exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity as the key components of vulnerability. We used the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to decompose the vulnerability conceptual framework into a hierarchical structure based on the three components of vulnerability and integrate quantitative and qualitative data across the different levels of the hierarchy with the aim of ranking the five villages from the most to least vulnerable. Results from this study indicate Makwasinyi was the most vulnerable village. An analysis of the three components of vulnerability indicates that adaptive capacity played a critical role in determining the vulnerability of each village. Ultimately, it follows that, Makwasinyi should be given the highest priority in terms of mitigation measures that are likely to reduce the vulnerability of the natural system.

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