ASSESSMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, AT THE MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND PETROLEUM
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Disaster is a common phenomenon that can happen when least expected and it often comes unannounced with disastrous consequences. Disasters are frequently happening around the world and organizations need to focus on risks that can affect and disrupt their normal functioning by taking mitigation measures. No organization may want to be out of business for any reason at this competitive era as this can cause losses in terms of finances and reputation. The aim of the study was to investigate disaster management practices in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Nairobi. The study objectives were to find out existence of disaster management policy in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum; find out types of disasters likely to occur; establish the state of disaster preparedness; determine the role of information communication technology in disaster management; establish challenges faced by staff in regard to disaster preparedness. The study was conducted in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum headquarters, which is located at Nyayo House, Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were applied. The target population for the study was 208 members of staff from the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. Sample size of 64 was selected comprising top management, middle level managers, supervisors, clerks and staff working in resource centres. Purposive sampling technique was used to select sample size because the study targeted a particular group of people. The study applied various data collection instruments namely unstructured/structured questionnaires, documentary source and observation. Data was coded, classified, analysed and presented in tables, pie charts, graphs and descriptive form by use of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. The research key findings revealed that there is no disaster management policy or plan in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. In addition the measures taken to mitigate and prepare for disaster are inadequate. The researcher recommended that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum should formulate disaster management policy, train staff, create awareness and allocate adequate funds for disaster management. The research findings would be valuable to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and the public sector, policy makers as it will give them basis for embracing disaster management.

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