• Peninah K. MWENDA
  • Daniel OLAGO
  • Fredrick OKATCHA
  • Ali Adan ALI


Climate Change, Disasters, Mental Disorders, Mental Health, Vulnerability.


Isiolo County in Kenya is susceptible to the effects of extreme climate events and exposure to natural hazards, and the residents have limited capacity to adapt but also suffer from related mental health conditions that rarely researched. The modelling and projections of disease epidemiology caused by climate extreme events to foster climate-mental health initiative is insufficient. The methods of data collection used included: rainfall/temperature data derived from gridded 10km of sixteen satellite meteorological stations (1984-2013); mental disorders epidemiological data (2006-2014) from the health information system, Isiolo County and in-depth observation among 60 in-patients and 121 out-patient; six focused group discussion and workshop sessions among selected sample size (N=24); key informants (N=35) and household socio-economic survey (N=288) was conducted to gather socio-economic aspects of the target population.. The quantitative data was analysed using statistical tools in Excel, SPSS version 20 while rainfall and temperature analysis was done using R software (version 3.21) and ranked mental health data using diagnostic tools criteria. Correlation analysis was done to determine the varying trajectories of sets of bivariate data and positive correlation was noted between mental disorder cases and total annual rainfall. The prevalent mental disorders included: anxiety (54%); 32% each for dissociative, sleeping, and adjustment disorders; and 39% for eating and poly-substance disorder. The mental disorder comorbidity revealed the association to disaster risks which increase mental illnesses. The study found that the prevalence rate of mental disorders was high and resilience was low. A need to develop robust environmental health procedures to diagnose mental disorders and quantify the epidemiology caused by disaster risks is vital. The study recommends mapping of mental disorder epidemiology and make it user friendly to advice policy, scale up solutions and accelerate evidence informed advocacy on adaptation and resilience mental health programme strategies.  


American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV. 5th Edition. Washington D.C: American Psychiatric Publishing,

Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (2017). Annual Report. Bangkok 10400, Thailand.

Aven T. (2011). A risk concept applicable for both probabilistic and non-probabilistic perspectives. Safety Science; 49: 1080–1086.

Barbara D.W. (2009). Content analysis: methods, applications, and issues. Health Care International, 13 (3): 321-467.

Becker A.E. and Kleinman A. (2013). Mental health and the global agenda. New England Journal of Medicine, 369: 66-73.

Berg S. (1988). Snowball Sampling. In: S. Kotz and N.M. Johnson (Eds), Encyclopaedia of Statistical Sciences, 8:528-532.

Berry H.L., Bowen M.P. and Kjellstrom T. (2010) Climate change and mental health: A causal pathways framework. International Journal of Public Health, 55 (2): 123-132.

Bourque F. and Cunsolo W.A. (2014). Climate change: The next challenge for public mental health? International Review of Psychiatry. 26 (4):415-22, doi: 10.3109/09540261.2014.925851.

Brubaker M., Berner J., Chavan R. and Warren J. (2011). Climate change and health effects in Northwest Alaska. Globe Health Action; 4, doi: 10.3402/

CDKN (2012). Managing Climate Extreme and Disasters in Africa: Lessons from the IPCC SREX Report. Climate and Development Knowledge Network. Accessed June 14, 2014.

Charles E.B. (2012). Focused Group Interview: An Under Utilized Research Technique for Improving Theory and Practice in Health Education. Columbia University, New York, USA, 229 pp.

Clayton S., Manning C. and Hodge C. (2014). Beyond Storms and Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change. Washington DC: American Psychological Association and Eco America /research/psychological impacts.

Consolo A. and Ellis N.R. (2018). Ecological grief as a mental health response to climate change related loss. Nature Climate Change, 8(1), 275

Delbert C.M. and Neil J.S. (2002). Handbook of Research Design and Social Measurement: The Case Study. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks. Online ISBN: 9781412984386 doi: accessed online on 12/7/2014.

Dodgen D., Donato N., Kelly A., La Greca J., Morganstein J., Reser J., Ruzek S., Schweitzer M.M., Shimamoto K., Thigpen T. and Ursano R. (2016). Chapter 8: Mental Health and Well-Being. The Impacts of Climate Change and Human Health in the United States. A Scientific Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, 217-246.

Doherty T.J. and Clayton S. (2011). The psychological impacts of global climate change. American Psychologist, 66 (4): 265-276.

Francois B. and Ashlee C.W. (2014). Climate change: the next challenge for public mental health? Journal of International Review of Psychiatry, 26(4).

Gifford E. and Gifford R. (2016). The largely unacknowledged impact of climate change on mental health. Special Issue: The Psychology of Doom. Journal Bulletin of the Atomic Science, 72(5): 292-297. /0096342.2016.1216505.

Glaser J., Lemery J., Rajagopalan B., Diaz H.F., Garcia-Trabanino R., Taduri G. and Johnson R.J. (2016). Climate change and the emergent epidemic of CKD from heat stress in rural communities: The case for heat stress nephropathy. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephropathy, 11 (8): 1472-1483. /CJN.13841215

Greenough G., McGeehin M., Bernard S.M., Trtanj J., Riad J. and Engelberg D. (2001). The potential impacts of climate variability and change on health impacts of extreme weather events in the United States. Environmental Health Perspectives, 109 (Suppl 2): 191–198.

Heckathorn D.D. (1997). Respondent-driven sampling: a new approach to the study of hidden populations. Social Problems, 44(2): 174-199.

Henderson S. and Mulder R. (2015). Climate change and mental disorders. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(11), 1061.

Hayes K., Blashki, G., Wiseman, J., Burke, S., & Reifels, L. (2018). Climate change and mental health: Risks, impacts and priority actions. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 12, Article ID 28.

Herlocker D.J., Shaaban S.B. and Wilkes S. (1993) Range Management Handbook of Kenya. Vol II, 5. Isiolo District. Nairobi: Republic of Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Marketing, 158 pp.

Hewitt K. (Ed) (1983). Interpretation of Calamity: From the View Point of Human Ecology. Boston: Allen, 249 pp.

Howard G. (2008). The Minds New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Howard Gardener, Congress Cataloguing. 422 pp.

IASC (2010). Global Protection Cluster Working Group and IASC Reference for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. Inter-Agency Standing Committee. Geneva

ICIDP (2018). Isiolo County Integrated Development Plan, ICIDP draft, 2018-2022. Nairobi, Kenya.

IPCC (2014). Summary for Policy Makers. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: global and Sectoral Aspects. Working Group II Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [Field C.B, Barros V.R, and Dokken D.J, Mach K.J., Manstrandrea M.D., Bilir T.E., Chatterjee M., Ebi K.L., Estrada Y.O., Genova R.C., Girma B., Kissel E.S., Levy E.S., MacCracken S., Mastrandrea P.R. and White L.L. (Eds.)]. Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA: 2014:1-32. Available at: Accessed May 3, 2014.

Jamal H.H. and Zailina H. (2016). Climate change, extreme events, and human health implications in Asia Pacific region. Asian Pacific Journal of Public Health,

Jane R., Jane L. and Carol M.N. (2014) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers, 2nd Edition. Sage Publication, Los Angeles, USA, 456 pp.

Janet C. and Olivier D. (2016). “Children and climate change: Introducing the Issueâ€. The Future of Children. Project MUSE. 26, (1), 3-9 DOI:10.1353/foc.2016.0000. Accessed June 22, 2019

Jayes K., Blashki G., Wiseman J., Burke S., and Reifels L. (2018) Climate change and mental health: Risks, impacts and priority actions. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 12(1), 28.

Jeffry A.J., David E.B. and Robert S. (1999). Concept mapping in mental health. Uses and adaptations. Evaluation and Programme Planning, 23(2000): 67-75.

Jenny W. (2011). Missouri Department of Mental Health Standard Operating Guidelines. Responding to Catastrophic Emergencies that Impact the Lives of those who Receive Services. Missouri, U.S.A: The Department of Mental Health, 101 pp.

John M. (2011). Qualitative Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition. London: Sage Publication Ltd, 352 pp.

Jonathan A.S. (Ed) (2008) Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods. California: Sage Publication Ltd, 276 pp.

Jonathan A., Patz M.D., Howard F.M., and Tracey H. (2014). Climate Change. Challenges and opportunities for global health. Journal of the American Medical Association, 321(15): 1565-1580. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13186.

Jongman B., Hochrainer-Stinger S., Fegen L., Aerts J.C., Mechler R.W.J., Botzen W., Bouwe L.M., Pflug G., Rojas R. and Ward P. J. (2014). Increasing stress on disaster finance due to large floods. Nature Climate Change, 4: 464-286.

Jyotsana S. (2013). Extreme weather events and mental health: tackling the psychological challenge. International Scholarly Research Notices. 2013:7

Kessler R.C., Galea S., Jones R.T. and Parker H.A. (2006). Mental illness and suicidality after hurricane Katrina. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 84: 930-939.

Keyes C.L. (2005). Mental illness and (or) mental health? Investigating axioms of the complete state of health. Journal Consultation in Clinical Psychology, 73(3) 539-48

Kiima D. and Jenkins R. (2010). Mental health policy in Kenya: an integrated approach to scaling up equitable care for the poor populations. International Journal on Mental Health System, 4:19. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Kim K.H., Kabir E. and Ara J.S. (2014). A review of the consequences of global climate change on human health. Journal of Environmental Science Health, 32: 299–318.

Kjellstrom T. and McMichael A.J. (2013). Climate change threats to population health and well-being: the imperative of protective solutions that will last. Globe Health Action, 6: 208-216. Doi: 10.3402/gha.v6i0.20816

Kreft S., Eckstein L., Lunghans C. and Hagen U. (2014). Global Climate Risk Index 2015: Who suffers most from Extreme Weather Events? Weather–Related Loss Events in 2013 and 1994 to 2013. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Bonn, German.

Meursing K., and Wankiiri V. (1988). Use of flow charts by nurses dealing with mental health patients: An evaluation in Lesotho. Bulletin, World Health Organization, 66(4): 507-514.

Molloy S.L., Dreen E.A. and Rose J.B. (2015). Extreme weather events and human health. In: International Encyclopaedia of Public Health (pp 7076).

Morris J., Van O., Belfer M., Saxena S. and Saraceno B. (2007) Children and the sphere standard on mental and social aspects of health disasters. 31(1): 71−90.

Mugenda O. (2003). Research Methods, Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. Acts Press. Nairobi, Kenya.

Obradovich N., Migliorini R., Paulus M.P. and Rahwan I. (2018). Empirical evidence of mental health risks posed by climate change. PNAS October 23, 2018 115(43) 10953-10958;

Ouma O.Y. and Tateishi R. (2014). Urban flood vulnerability and risk mapping using integrated multi-parametric AHP and GIS: Methodology overview and Case study assessment. Water, 6: 1515-1545. Doi: 10.3390/w6061515 /journal/water. Eldoret, Kenya.

Padli J., Habibullah M.S. and Baharom A.H. (2018). The impact of human development on natural disaster fatalities and damage: Panel data evidence. Journal of Economic Research, 31 (1):1557-1573.

Patz J. A., Engelberg D. and Last J. (2000). The effects of changing weather on public health. Annual Review of Public Health, 21: 271–307. Crossref, Medline.

Peter A.S., Nikolaos C., Friederike E.L., Otto Y.S., Jean-Paul V., Geert J.V., Robert V., Hans V.S., Walton P., Yiou P. and Zwiers F.W. (2016). Attribution of Extreme Weather and Climate-related Events. Wiley Online Library, 7 (1): 23-41.

Hsieh H.F., & Shannon S.E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288.

Simpson D.M., Weissbecker I., and Sephton S.E. (2011). Extreme Weather-Related Events: Implications for Mental Health and Well-Being. In: Weissbecker, I. (Ed.), Climate Change and Human Well-being: Global Challenges and Opportunities, Springer-Verlag, 57-78. Doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-9742-5.

Smith K.R., Alistar W., Campbell-Lendrum D. Chadee D.D., Honda Q., Liu J.M., Olwoch B.R. and Sauerborn R. (2014). Human health. Impacts, Adaptation and Co-benefits. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group 11 to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field C.B, Barros V.R., Dokken D.J, Mach K.J., Mastrandrea M.D., Bilir T.E., Chatterjee M., Ebi K.L., Estrada Y.O., Genova R.C., Girma B., Kissel E.S., Levy A.N., MacCracken S., Mastrandrea P.R. and White L.L (Eds.)] Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Snijders T.A.B. (1993). Estimation of the size of a hidden population using snowball sampling. Journal of Official Statistics, 10: 53-67.

Steffen W., Hughes L. and Karoly D. (2013). The Critical Decade: Extreme Weather. Climate Commission, Australia.

Susanta K.P., Sidharth S. and Surrender P. (2015). Mental health effects of climate change. Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 19(1): 3-7. Doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.156997.

Swim J.K., Stern P.C., Doherty T.J., Clayton S., Reser J.P., Weber E.U., Gifford R. and Howard G.S. (2011). Psychology's contributions to understanding and addressing global climate change. American Psychologist, 66: 241-250. Doi: 10.1037/a0023220.

Trochim W.M. (1989). An introduction to concept mapping: for an introduction to concept mapping: for planning and evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 12(1): 1-16. (89)90016-5

Trochim W.M.K., Shern D. and Lacomb C.A. (1995). The use of the concept mapping for assessing fidelity for model transfer: an example from psychiatric rehabilitation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 18(2): 141-153.

UNISDR (2012). Disaster through a Different Lens: Behind Every Effect, there is a Cause. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Thomson Reuter’s AlertNet, the BBC, Vietnam TV and Tempo in Jakarta.

Vijayalakshmi P., Ramachandra R.K. and Math S.B. (2012). Perceived human rights violations in persons with mental illness: role of education. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 59: 351-364.

Visser H., Petersen A.C. and Lintvoet W. (2014). On the relation between weather-related disaster impacts, vulnerability and climate. Climate Change, 125(3-4): 461-477.

Wehner M.F., Reed K.A., Loring B., Stone D. and Krishnan H. (2018). Changes in tropical cyclones under stabilized 1.5º and 2.0º C global warming scenarios as simulated by the community atmospheric model under the HAPPI protocols. Earth System Dynamics, 9: 187-195,

Weems C.F., Pina A.A., Costa N.M., Watts S.E., Taylor L.K. and Cannon M.F. (2007). Pre-disaster trait anxiety and negative affect predict posttraumatic stress in youths after hurricane Katrina. Journal of and Clinical Psychology, 75 (1): 154-159.

WHO (2014). Review of Social Determinants and Mental Health. Available at Accessed November 10, 2017.

WHO (2016). Climate Services for Health: Improving Public Health Decision Making in a New Climate. In: Shumake-Guillemont J. and Fernande-Montoya L. (Eds). A Case Study Draft. Geneva, Switzerland.

WHO (2017). Depression and other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. World Health Organization, 1-2. BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

WHO (2018). International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11). Geneva: World Health Organization.

World Bank (2013). Building Resilience: Integrating Climate and Disaster into Development. Lessons from World Bank Group Experience. The World Bank, Washington DC, USA, 41 pp.