Mozambique faces an array of natural hazards, the most prominent being flooding, droughts, and cyclones. With more than 2,700 km of coastline, nine international river basins, a high dependence on agricultural yields, a high level of poverty, and an inadequate infrastructure, Mozambique is extremely sensitive to such exogenous shocks. With most Mozambicans living along the low-lying coast, facing chronic poverty, inadequate health services, and heavy reliance on subsistence agriculture (80%), any changes to the nation’s ecosystems have an immediate impact on its population.
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.
- Mozambique has a long history of catastrophic flooding, which occurs almost annually during the rainy season, and is largely influenced by La Niña and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).
- Droughts are particularly frequent in the central and southern regions, with crop loss, reduction of primary productivity in coastal zones, reduction of grazing areas, increases in food imports, loss of human and animal life, outbreaks of disease, and loss of biodiversity.
- Cyclones are common to the exposed coast line of Mozambique from October to April.
- Strong winds, storm surges, and heavy rains from cyclones damage infrastructure, disrupt water sanitation and electricity supply systems, and degrade the coastal environment.
More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.
- There is a high risk of increased-intensity storm surges along soft coastlines, which are already vulnerable to coastal erosion.
- The duration and timing of the rainy season are expected to change. It would start earlier over most of the country, though it is also expected to end earlier in the south and later in the far north, leading to longer rainy seasons in the north as well as southern regions near the coast. There could be, however, decreases in seasonal rainfall duration over the central regions and Zambezi valley, which could have major implications for agriculture.
- Hydrological modeling indicates that some areas in the north will experience floods more frequently.
- The central region requires greater monitoring for all types of natural hazards, and weather-related parameters in this region need to be extended and improved as a matter of urgency as climate change intensifies.