THE ROLE OF SEISMOLOGY IN INFRASTUCTURE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT IN KENYA
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ABSTRACT

Vision 2030 form the blueprint for economic advancement in Kenya and infrastructure is one of the key pillars in achievement of this vision. This coupled with ever rising population in urban centers; the demand for adequate and sustainable infrastructure facilities is on the rise. In the recent past big infrastructure projects (road, dams, power lines, buildings, proposal for nuclear power projects etc.) have been started across the entire country. In planning and development of these infrastructure facilities, it is important to put into consideration all the necessary safety measures and precaution. Strong and sustainable infrastructures depend on the geology and nature of the subsurface at the site. Seismology is one of the best methods used in site characterization. This report seeks to demonstrate how seismology holds a critical role in planning and development of these infrastructural projects.

To bring out the role of seismology, seismic zoning that indicates the seismic risk of certain region was the main objective as this influenced the safety measures necessary. With evaluation and generation of seismic hazard and distribution maps, seismologist can be able to advice engineers and contractors on nature of the site and typical building codes they should put in place.

Generally, the seismicity of Kenya can be termed as low-medium in reference to historical earthquake and magnitude recorded. In this study 675 recent seismic event from (1966-2012) recorded by University of Nairobi monitoring station was used to determine this seismicity. A hypocenter distribution map of earthquake epicenter for the entire country was produced. The map clearly shows that earthquakes are structurally and tectonically controlled. In addition, seismic distribution indicates spatial distribution. For characterization of the level of seismic risk for different regions, seismic contouring based on magnitude level was done. This yielded a contoured map showing distinct seismic zone (Fig 4.4, chapter four) associated with certain level of magnitude.

In conclusion, it was recommended that it is necessary for government agencies and other experts tasked with planning and development of infrastructure facilities across the country to take into consideration seismic hazard/risk associated with various regions in development of building codes. This will act as a safety measure on the part of the government.