Overall risks from climate-related impacts are evaluated based on the interaction of climate-related hazards (including hazardous events and trends) with the vulnerability of communities (susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to adapt), and exposure of human and natural systems. Changes in both the climate system and socioeconomic processes -including adaptation and mitigation actions- are drivers of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability (IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014).

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.



Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

Key Vulnerabilities
  • Sea level rise threatens the southern coastal region of Benin where over 50% of the population (over 3 million) reside on the coast and in the city of Contonou. Rapid urbanization has also exacerbated coastal cities’ vulnerability, as they are unprepared to deal with increased flooding due to sea level rise and coastal erosion.
  • Over the last 40 years, the coast of Benin has eroded more than 400 meters in certain areas, which has caused severe damage to coastal populations and engulfed and swept away homes and infrastructure. Rapid urbanization has also placed increased risk on the population to coastal erosion through poor development of urban services (e.g. sanitation) and infrastructure. 
  • Floods are becoming increasingly severe and more destructive in Benin, especially in the coastal region. Recurrent floods in urban areas such as Cononou, Porto Novo, and Parakou pose significant challenges to the inadequate and insufficient water supply, sanitation, and waste collection systems.
  • Recurrent droughts will continue to affect Benin. Impacts will be felt within the agricultural and water resources sectors as variability in the seasonal climatic regime and lack of early warning systems will exacerbate these sectors’ vulnerabilities, threatening food security and the populations’ main livelihood. 
  • Increasing temperatures and floods will also have an impact on the spread of infectious diseases, like malaria, which accounts for around 40% of all visits to health facilities. More standing water will increase the habitats for vectors and increased temperatures and prolonged dry seasons have the potential to extend the vector’s seasonal window, increasing the human population at risk to these diseases.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Coastal protections and management of natural coastal ecosystems coupled with better planning of cities and infrastructure will help alleviate risks related to sea level rise in Benin.
  • Rapid urbanization has also placed increased risk on the population to coastal erosion through poor development of urban services (e.g. sanitation) and infrastructure. Improving these along with proactively protecting the coastline from soil erosion will decrease the coastal populations’ vulnerability.
  • The establishment of an early warning system, improved seed varieties, and diversification of the economy will increase the country’s resiliency and decrease its vulnerability to droughts.
  • Increasing temperatures and floods will also have an impact on the spread of infectious diseases. Early warning systems, climate forecasts, and information and education on how to decrease risk will be important to control epidemics.