Causal Chains Linking Weather Hazards to Disasters in Somalia

Tatiana Gumucio, Helen Greatrex, Erin Lentz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Weather risk management products can be critical for supporting effective humanitarian actions to mitigate and prevent disasters; however, to be truly actionable, they must be based in an understanding of how weather contributes to disaster risk, informed by humanitarians’ decision-making context. Our paper seeks to identify considerations for weather risk management products to support disaster risk management, through analysis of humanitarian perceptions of the factors and processes that contribute to weather-influenced disasters, taking Somalia as a case study. We carry out semistructured interviews with humanitarian actors familiar with using weather information in their work, and we apply social cascades and disaster risk creation as conceptual tools in our analysis. Our study finds that humanitarian actors per-ceive historically influenced social networks, livelihood dependence on seasonality, terrorist territorial control, public capacities to manage disasters, and household-level factors related to asset control and coping mechanisms contribute to weather-influenced disasters in Somalia. These factors and processes are part of humanitarians’ dynamic decision-making context. Key insights from our study concern the importance of understanding local geographies of marginalization to design weather risk management products with the context specificity necessary for effective humanitarian actions. Also, assessing weather effects on livelihood calendars can help identify those seasonal weather conditions most responsible for detrimental livelihood impacts. Consideration of livelihood calendars can also promote accurate assessment of the effects of consecutive weather-related hazards on coping capacities and resiliency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-860
Number of pages12
JournalWeather, Climate, and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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