Mozambique ranked as 11th country most vulnerable to climate change

Out of 191 countries studied, according to the Index for Risk Management statistics of 2018 Mozambique ranks as the 11th country most vulnerable to climate change.

Though the country itself contributes relatively few pollutants identified as being linked to climate change, widespread poverty, weak institutional development, and increasing weather events put the country at heightening risk to the impacts of climatic events. 

Almost half of Mozambique’s population lives below the poverty line, approximately 60% live along its 2700km coastline, roughly 70% of Mozambiquens rely on climate-sensitive agricultural production for their livelihoods, and (according to the World Food Programme) almost 80% of people in the country cannot afford an adequate diet. 

All of these factors contribute to Mozambique’s increasing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Mozambique’s Changing Climate

In 2019, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth (which caused hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in damage) brought conversations about Mozambique and climate change to the center stage. However, the country has been registering and responding to climatic changes since the 1960s.

Though the country was already prone to frequent droughts, between 1960 and 2006 the mean average temperature in Mozambique increased by 0.6°C and the average number of “hot days” experienced each year increased by 25 (according to USAID). Hotter days mean more frequent droughts and bushfires, which cause heavy losses in the agricultural sector and place people at heightened risk of hunger and malnutrition. 

Additionally, the mean annual rainfall has decreased at an average rate of 3.1% per month per decade, while the proportion during heavy rainfall events has increased by an average rate of 2.6%. This means overall less ground water recharge while conversely causing increased flooding events.

In 2000, the country was struck by four different cyclones. El Niño conditions in 2015 caused the worst drought Mozambique experienced in 35 years. Dineo hit in 2017. And within a few months of each other, Idai and Kenneth made landfall over Mozambique in 2019. The close succession of these two cyclones impeded recovery efforts by the government and international organizations.

Then 2020 came, and like every other part of the world, Mozambique found itself responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike other parts of the world, Mozambique was hit by yet another cyclone, Chalane, this same year – and then again by Eloise in 2021.

School of Peace of the community of Mangunde destroyed after the passage of Cyclone Eloise in 2021 (School of Peace Project)

Confronting Climate Change

Though it is difficult to pin any one extreme weather event on climate change, data proves that since 1960 Mozambique’s overall climate is changing and annual cyclones over the past several years have highlighted the challenges Mozambique confronts (and will continue to respond to) due to the impacts of climate change. 

In the face of a global issue, Green Pedal works alongside local families in Mozambique to increase resilience against an ever hotter and drier climate. Through supporting the adoption of regenerative agriculture better adapted to withstand extreme weather conditions and through the installation of solar-powered irrigation systems (solar irrigation and Water-Pump Bikes), Green Pedal strives to increase food security for the communities the organization partners with.

Though tackling climate change overall requires a global response, locally-focused interventions like those of Green Pedal increase resilience, reduce poverty, and combat hunger in the communities that so often pollute less but suffer more from the consequences of climatic events.  

Support Green Pedal’s work and communities’ efforts to respond to increasingly extreme weather events by making a donation today.