Understanding everyday and disaster risks in Karonga Town, Malawi

The inhabitants of Karonga Town in Malawi are at risk from major disasters, such
as flooding, earthquakes and droughts. They are also at risk from everyday hazards
–whose impacts are too small to be classified as a disaster. These include poor
quality water and sanitation (and diarrhoeal diseases and cholera), malaria, traffic
accidents, drowning, animal attacks, and politically linked violence. This research has
sought to identify the full spectrum of risks facing the inhabitants of Karonga, and
these have been identified by Karonga residents as resulting in premature death or
injury and/or affecting their livelihoods and assets. Full knowledge of the risks – their
nature, scale, and physical location –highlights where risk reduction is needed and
possible – for large disasters, for small disasters, and for everyday hazards.