Data from the EM-Dat database shows the country has endured various natural hazards, including droughts, epidemic diseases, floods, and storms over the past century. From 1900 to 2017, events captured in the database for Zimbabwe include 7 drought events, 22 epidemic episodes, 12 floods, and 5 storms, which resulted in total deaths of 7000 people, with more than 20 million people affected, and total damage estimates of 950 million USD. The country’s GDP growth has been severely impacted by a series of major droughts.
The number of people affected and economic loss caused by droughts have been observed to increase considerably. For instance, the drought episode in 2007 affected 6 million individuals; and the drought in 2013 caused economic damage of up to 500 million USD in addition to affecting over 4 million residents.
Epidemic diseases, particularly bacterial and parasitic types, contribute to significant portion of total deaths and total affected people by natural hazards.
Floods also generate large human and economic losses. As of 2017, a total of 9 riverine floods are accounted, affecting over 300 thousand people, killing over 270 people and leading to monetary loss of above 270 million USD. Moreover, analysis by Hallegatte et al. show Zimbabwe is one of the six countries where the poor are overexposed (or 50% more likely) to the impacts of floods than nonpoor people.