Zimbabwe has endured various natural hazards including droughts, epidemic diseases, floods, and storms over the past century. From 1900 to 2017, the country encountered 7 drought events, 22 epidemic episodes, 12 floods, and 5 storms, which resulted in total deaths of roughly 7000 people, with more than 20 million people affected, and total damage of $950 million USD. The number of total people affected and economic loss caused by droughts have been observed to increase considerably. Epidemic diseases, particularly bacterial and parasitic types, contribute to significant portion of total deaths and total affected people by natural hazards. Floods are strongly associated with total economic loss. The country has experienced several riverine floods. During the same time period, 9 riverine floods are accounted, affecting over 300 thousand people, killing over 270 people and leading to above $270 million monetary loss. Zimbabwe is one of the six countries where the poor are overexposed (or 50% more likely) to be flooded than nonpoor people (Unbreakable, 2017).
This section allows you to explore the susceptibility of livelihoods and natural systems to impacts of climate variability and change and facilitate the exploration of socioeconomic and development data and its relationships with natural hazards vulnerable areas.
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.
- Zimbabwe’s GDP growth is severely impacted by a series of major droughts. The number of total people affected and economic losses caused by droughts have been observed to increase exponentially in the last years. Extreme temperatures and dry spells can intensify the drought conditions.
- Epidemic diseases, particularly bacterial and parasitic types, contribute to significant portion of total deaths and total affected by natural disasters. Floods are strongly associated with total economic loss.
- The country is extremely prone to riverine floods. From 1900 to 2017, 9 riverine floods occurred affecting over 300 thousand people, killing over 270 people and leading to above 270 million monetary loss.
- The likelihood of the country encountering severe drought is projected by model ensemble models to increase by 21% in 2040 – 2059 and 47% in 2080 – 2099 compared to baseline period of 1986 – 2005 under RCP8.5 scenario. In addition, southern and western parts of the country are more likely to experience drought conditions.
- Extreme temperatures and precipitation reduction will be more prominent in the country.
- Extreme temperatures and dry spells can intensify the drought conditions and more frequent epidemic episodes, which can consequentially lead to enormous social and economic loss across multiple sectors (e.g. Agriculture, Water, Energy, Forestry).
- The number of days with maximum temperature above 35°C is expected to increase by 39 days in 2040 to 2059, and 108 days in 2080 to 2099 from the reference period (1986 - 2005) under RCP8.5.
- Change in days of consecutive dry spell annually is projected to increase by 13 days in 2040 – 2059 and 25 days in 2080 – 2099.
- Develop an integrated and coordinated approach to reducing disaster risk and to address impacts of climate change through a multi-stakeholder approach.
- Enhance early warning systems and capacity of hydro-meteorological services to advise on weather related impacts on new infrastructure as well as mitigation of potential damage to existing infrastructure. Strengthening early warning systems on climate related agricultural risks.
- Review and update policy and by-laws on building standards and codes to make them adaptive to climate change.
- Invest in climate resilient social infrastructure.
- Enhance community resilience to climate change.
- Promoting climate indexed insurance solutions and enabling market frameworks.