Climate-related hazards in DR Congo include floods, drought, volcanic activity, and epidemics. Although these hazards are of natural occurrence, they are likely to increase in frequency and magnitude in a changing climate and cause serious challenges to the economic development of DR Congo.
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.
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. Source (PDF)
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.
- DR Congo lies within the River Congo Basin where floods frequently happen during equatorial heavy rain events. Several areas along the River Congo are therefore highly exposed to flooding, landslides, and erosion.
- The northeast of the country is highly susceptible to droughts and has the highest drought coefficient. Drought events are common and can affect several thousand people; for example, the drought event of 1978 affected over 500,000 people.
- Volcanic events are common within the country. According to the country’s disaster profile, the volcano on January 17, 2002 affected over 110,400 people and result in over 9 million dollars in damages.
More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.
- DR Congo’s vulnerability to climate change is exacerbated by extreme poverty, environmental degradation and low adaptive capacity. Most vulnerable groups in the country include the urban poor and small-scale farmers.
- Climate change impacts can already be seen around the DR Congo. The country has experienced excessive heat waves, violent rain, soil degradation, a prolongation of the dry season, an increase of droughts during the rainy seasons, and floods.
- If the current tendency of increased number of heat waves and intense rains continues, DR Congo will see more flooding leading to soil erosion, less productive agricultural land, destruction of roads and other infrastructure.
- Scarcer resources as a result of climate change might lead to increasing conflicts in the future. Climate change might also cause more vector and water borne disasters and have a negative impact on food security and biodiversity.
- Coastal flooding caused by sea level rise might result in several impacts such as saline intrusion, destruction of population clusters and tourist sites, and less agricultural production in coastal areas leading to food shortages.