Historically, Zambia is frequently inundated with seasonal floods and flash floods, extreme temperatures and droughts, with increased severity and frequency in recent decades. Inadequate infrastructure paired with the fact that a large proportion of the population is rural and poor, makes Zambia highly vulnerable to natural hazards, especially floods.

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
  • From 2000-2007, the intensity and frequency of droughts and floods and the number of people affected has changed with a trend towards increased number of floods.
  • In addition to the size of the population affected increasing (from about 1.23 million in 2004/05 and 1.44 million in 2006/07), the affected areas has changed – the 2006/07 flood affected 41 districts of the nine provinces.
  • Recent years have also seen droughts within the rainy seasons, particularly in 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2004/05.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.