From 1980 to 2010, 24 natural hazard events have been registered in Djibouti, affecting almost 1.5 million people and causing economic damages for 3 million. The vast majority of Djibouti’s rural population is highly susceptible to climatic uncertainty – they live in deserts or marginal and infertile areas, often with highly erodible soils, poor ground cover, and limited water supplies where food security is a serious concern. Observational data for the 1980-2001 period show that droughts, floods, sea level rise, and epidemics, whose frequency, occurrence, and impacts have increased in recent years, already pose a significant risk to the country’s vulnerable population. The country is home to a large pastoralist population, living on poor quality pasture lands, and the impact of climate-related changes on livestock production could be significant. Many groups that rely on winter grazing grounds are already extremely vulnerable and forced to migrate to Sudan due to pasture degradation made worse through increasing population pressures.

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
  • Droughts: Droughts pose a severe challenge to the already limited water stocks, frequently necessitating emergency food and water assistance. Critical rainfall periods, that feed the central lowland grazing zones during the months April-August, are predicted to decrease. Eight major droughts have affected the country over the past 30 years. The severe drought of 2008 affected 340,000 people and caused a loss of 50-70 percent of the total livestock population.
  • Floods: High rainfall variability and intensity pose a significant threat to the region’s Southwest Pastoral regions, whose sandy soils are already vulnerable to episodic floods caused by extreme rainfall events. Heavy seasonal rains and the resultant floods of April 2004 affected nearly 100,000 people, causing 51 deaths, leaving 1,500 people homeless, and damaging the Wea bridge on the road to Ethiopia.
  • Sea Level Rise: Sea level rise poses significant threats to already declining water quality, particularly with respect to saltwater intrusion into the coastal aquifer. This is especially critical during the northeast monsoon season, October-May, when the predominant tides flow from the Red Sea, bringing high salinity levels.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Critical rainfall periods, which feed the central lowland grazing zones during the months of April-August, are predicted to decrease. In addition, the Hays-Dadaac, or winter rains, which occur during the months of September-February, are on average predicted to decrease, with marked changes expected during the range growing period of September and October. The impact of these changes on livestock production could be significant.
  • High rainfall variability and predicted higher intensity wet extremes pose a significant threat to the region’s Southwest Pastoral regions, whose sandy soils are already vulnerable to episodic floods caused by extreme rainfall events.
  • Flood-induced infrastructure damage can render critical water pumps and other delivery infrastructure unusable, leading to further water shortages.
  • Increase in sea level and floods might increase coastal erosion, affecting people and marine ecosystems along the coasts. Increase in sea level and floods are expected to lead to saline intrusion affecting the rivers and the groundwater.