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).

Senegal faces a number of hazard risks. Droughts, floods, sea level rise, and coastal erosion are currently the natural hazards that pose the greatest threat to the country’s development goals. 

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a quick assessment 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
  • Floods occur more frequently than droughts, but droughts have more severe consequences and affect many more people per event.
  • Droughts in Senegal are concentrated mostly in the arid and semi-arid Sahelian regions of the country, located in northern and center Senegal. Between 1977 and 2002, six major drought events affected the country.
  • Both urban and rural areas are vulnerable to floods; however, most at risk are the areas in and around Dakar, Saint Louis, Matam, Kaolack, Thies, Diourbel, Kolda, Kaffrine, and Tambacounda.
  • Floods in the country are the result of river overflows (particularly in the Gambia and Senegal rivers due to heavy rains)- a combination of heavy rains and insufficient drainage infrastructure (in Kaolack and Dakar especially) - and storm surges leading to salt-water intrusion into agricultural lands (particularly in the Saloum Delta).
  • Sea-level changes and increased intensity of storm surges are known to lead to coastal erosion, which poses a major threat to the population and economy of Senegal. Sea-level rise is exacerbated by the country’s geology (including sediment deficits, natural instability of slopes, and surface runoff) and threatens 74% of households living in coastal areas.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Deteriorating climatic conditions in areas surrounding cities are likely to increase human migration into cities, further increasing already high urbanization rates. If left unmanaged, urban sprawl may worsen or even cause natural hazard events.
  • Sea level could rise by up to one meter by the end of the century, and this would put at least 110,000 people, mostly in southern Senegal in the Cape Verde region, at risk of coastal flooding. Some studies, however, put the number of people at risk much higher. The higher frequency of heavy rainfall events is likely to escalate the incidence of floods, leading to possible health impacts that include the spreading of water-borne diseases such as cholera in the after-math of floods.
  • Increase in pest infestations due to changing climate patterns might spark food shortages and temporary migrations.