MAFURIKO: Design of Nzoia Basin location based flood game

Abby Onencan*, Rens Kortmann, F. Kulei, Bert Enserink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


Every 2 to 7 years, Kenya experiences a reoccurrence of El-Niño rains leading to loss of life and massive damage to property. The 1997/98 El-Niño floods affected 1.5 million persons and led to an estimated USD 1.2 billion infrastructural damage, USD 236 million agricultural damage and USD 9 million on other losses (property, soil erosion, pollution). Recent rains in October 2015 to January 2016 left 112 Kenyans dead and over 100,000 internally displaced. The Kenyan Government predictions indicate that the number of affected persons will be approximately 1,500,000, before 2018. Despite the numerous exposures to floods, Kenyan communities' resilience to floods risks is weak. Traditional crisis management approaches have not been successful in enhancing citizen capacity in flood prevention and preparedness. In addition, the past flood forecasts have not played a key role, as early warning advisories. To address these complexities, we propose a location-based game so as to create a positive learning environment and increase territory awareness, collaboration and soft skills, which are necessary for flood preparedness. Moreover, through playing the game, we hope that social learning for joint action will be enhanced. The game is known as "MAFURIKO" which is a Swahili word for floods. Through MAFURIKO, the citizens may learn basic flood prevention and preparedness procedures, may begin to see their predicament differently and may also identify opportunities which remain untapped. In this paper, we outline a theoretical framework and preliminary MAFURIKO game design specifications for the Nzoia sub-basin of the Lake Victoria Basin, in Kenya. MAFURIKO is intended to enhance the capacity of Kenyan citizens on flood risk reduction, so that they can work with the Kenyan Government to prevent and prepare for future floods. Future work will entail completion, staging and application of the location based game.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Citizen Participation
  • Climate-change
  • Deep Uncertainty
  • Flood Preparedness
  • Kenya
  • Lake Victoria Basin
  • Location-based Games
  • Natural Disasters
  • Nzoia Basin
  • Serious Gaming
  • Water Management


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