Malawi has been traditionally vulnerable to natural disasters because of its unique geo-climatic conditions. From 1979 to 2015, natural disasters affected over 22 million people and killed about 2,650 people. The main types of natural hazards include floods, droughts, earthquakes, and landslides. The country also faces human-induced and biological disasters, such as environmental degradation and epidemics respectively. Malawi’s vulnerability is primarily linked to specific geo-climatic factors: (i) the influence of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena on the country’s climate, and the tropical cyclones developing in the Mozambique Channel, resulting in highly erratic rainfall patterns; and (ii) the location of the country along a tectonically active boundary between two major African plates within the great East African Rift System, causing earthquakes and landslides. The intensity and frequency of climate related disasters is likely to increase in light of climate change. Generally there is an unequal distribution of rainfall causing localized dry spells as well as floods. The magnitude, frequency and impact of disasters have been increasing, in light of climate change, population growth and environmental degradation. The number of people affected by these disasters has increased sharply since 1990. Currently approximately 15percent of the rural population lives on the fringes of high flood-risk areas. In order to build resiliency to natural hazards and to inform the current risk reduction activities in Malawi, such as the IFRMP and the PDNA, there is a need to scale up collection of geospatial data in the six districts of Karonga, Salima, Mangochi, Machinga, Blantyre and Balaka in order to inform decision- making and promote data preparedness.
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This project is capturing roads, secondary road, buildings and telecommunication infrastructure.