More than half the population of Southern Africa will be living in urban areas by 2030, says UN Habitat. Urban areas suffer from particular vulnerabilities to climate change and variability—from lack of water and poor sanitation, to flooding, health threats and any number of other disasters.
Urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa are already experiencing changes in climate in the form of more frequent and intense tropical storms, especially along the east coast. It is seeing more intense drought periods, changes in rainfall patterns, more intense rainfall when it does occur and a general increase in temperature, although the latter varies widely from one area to the next. Sea-level rise is already affecting all coastal settlements to a greater or lesser degree.
Flooding is the most common current and anticipated impact. Factors that worsen floods are storm surges along the coast, upstream deluges for urban areas on rivers and high winds . Not only are floods life threatening, they also destroy buildings and transport.