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).

South Sudan is at risk to several natural hazards, including floods, droughts, and climate-related epidemics.

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
  • Flooding mainly occurs between July and September, when heavy rains fall in most parts of the country, leading to the flooding of the Nile River tributaries. During the flooding season, many parts of the country are left under water, including Jonglei, Unity State, Upper Nile, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and parts of Western Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria.
  • Droughts are very common in South Sudan due to the hot and dry conditions experienced during the dry season.
  • While South Sudan benefits from the Nile River ecosystem, several disadvantages are associated with it, including the widespread prevalence of diseases, such as malaria and bilharzias. In the southwestern agricultural belt, the humid environment is favorable to tsetse flies, which cause sleeping sickness, while the extensive acacia and savannah grasslands of the Eastern Flood Plains are affected by sand fly infestations, which cause leishmaniasis.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Increased rainfall intensity may lead to more floods.
  • Increases in temperatures along with decreases in rainfall might lead to longer and more severe droughts.
  • Increases in temperatures may accelerate and contribute to the spread of epidemics.
  • Increases in temperatures and rainfall variability might also significantly impact on livestock production in pastoral regions.
  • Increases in floods may lead to extensive damage to water infrastructure.
  • Increases in droughts might force pastoral groups to migrate permanently out of their home regions, which will have economic and social implications for deserted areas, as well as newly settled areas.