Floods are a recurring natural hazard in Guinea-Bissau, especially along its coast. Drought is a recurring natural disaster in Guinea-Bissau and has experienced some devastating droughts in the recent past. Heavier rainfall events in the future along with higher tides from rising sea level will continue to impact the coast. Sea level rise continues to affect Guinea-Bissau’s coastal region and is a serious threat to 70% of the population who reside along the coast. Increased salinization from the ocean has harmed rice production, caused coastal erosion, and inundated coastal aquifers. Increased temperatures and humidity will increase malaria transmission, flooding will incite the spread of waterborne diseases, drought will escalate the risk of meningitis which can cause the emergence of infections and epidemics, and increased temperatures will worsen air pollution and increase the threat of acute respiratory illnesses. Heavy rainfall events occur often in the country and causes flooding that have severe impacts on infrastructure, agriculture, and public health.
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.
- In 2003, 2004, and 2005 this area experienced bad flooding due to high tides and torrential rains that damaged infrastructure, caused a loss of food crops, and forced people to abandon their villages, some temporarily and others permanently. Many floods come from the flooding of the tributaries of the Geba River and the shared tributaries of Koliba and Corubal Rivers, as well as sea level rise. Many communities have lost their cultivated rice paddy fields from saltwater intrusion due to high tides.
- Water resources in Guinea-Bissau are diminishing due to the observed decrease in rainfall since 1961 causing: a slower recharge of aquifers and increasing the depth at which water can be accessed, a reduction in the volume of water in rivers, and an increase in saltwater intrusion on coastal aquifers.
- In 2003, 2004, and 2005, flooding caused bridges and makeshift housing to be damaged in the eastern region of Guinea-Bissau, caused a loss of 63 hectares of food production, and forced people to leave their communities. In the future, torrential rains could worsen existing drainage problems, impact infrastructure especially in the eastern regions of the country, erode soil, decrease crop production, lead to loss of pasture, and expose the population to waterborne diseases.
- In 2002, 100,000 people were affected by drought and shortly after, in 2004, 32,000 people were affected. Drought has serious implications on food security through losses in the production of agriculture and livestock, as well as worsening the shortage of water resources.
- Floods are a recurring natural hazard in Guinea-Bissau, especially along its coast. Heavy rainfall events occur often and causes flooding that have severe impacts on infrastructure, agriculture, and public health.
- Sea level rise continues to affect Guinea-Bissau’s coastal region.
- Water resources in Guinea-Bissau are diminishing due to the observed decrease in rainfall.
- Climate change will impact and assist in the spread of diseases in Guinea-Bissau.
- Drought is a recurring natural disaster in Guinea-Bissau.
- Increasing sea levels, higher temperatures, and erratic rainfall are expected to exacerbate these effects.
- Early warning systems, improved management of water systems, improved infrastructure, and enhanced crop varieties will be necessary to decrease the populations’ risks to floods as they become more frequent in the future.
- Switching to different cultivars that are saltwater tolerant, improving infrastructure, and early warning systems will alleviate risks caused by sea level rise.
- Improving water management through the promotion of irrigation and integrated water resources management as well as establishment of early warning systems, and investment strategies to help capacity building will reduce the risks posed by climate change.
- Early warning systems, better quality medical care, as well as capacity building in research of climate sensitive diseases are necessary for disaster risk management.
- Early warning systems, improved management of water systems, improved infrastructure, and enhanced crop varieties will be necessary to decrease the populations’ risks.
- Introducing drought resistance crop varieties, improving water management, developing small-scale irrigation, diversifying agricultural production, and others will help reduce the risk of food insecurity and a shortage of water in the future.