This profile provides an overview of climate risk issues in Tanzania, including how climate change will potentially impact six key sectors in the country: agriculture, water resources, human health, energy, ecosystems, and infrastructure. The brief also includes an overview of historical and future climate trends in Tanzania, the policy context outlining existing climate risk strategies and plans developed by Tanzania, and a list of ongoing projects that focus on climate adaptation.
Rising temperatures, longer dry spells, more intense heavy rainfall and sea level rise make Tanzania the 26th most vulnerable country to climate risks. The current population of 56 million is expected to increase to 130 million by 2050. Thirty-two percent of the population lives in urban areas, and 75 percent of that population lives in informal settlements that are increasingly at risk from water scarcity, flooding and heat extremes. In rural areas, there is high dependence on rainfed agriculture and limited access to health care, education and electricity. Yields for critical crops, including maize, beans, sorghum and rice, are projected to decrease in coming decades, endangering livelihoods and food security. Livelihoods and food supply also depend on coastal and inland fisheries, which are increasingly threatened by warming ocean and freshwater temperatures, and sedimentation after heavy rains. Sea level rise is putting coastal infrastructure, coastal populations (about 25 percent of the total population), and coastal ecosystems at risk of inundation, salinization and storm surge.