Impact of land cover change on sustainable community livelihoods: a case of Peri-urban Songea municipality, Tanzania.

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study was conducted in order to assess the impact of land cover change on community livelihoods. The study had the following specific objectives: to determine land cover changes that have occurred in Songea peri – urban areas between 2003 and 2016, to explore causes of land cover change in Songea peri-urban areas and to investigate impacts of land cover on community livelihoods. A total sample of 132 households were randomly selected and used in the study. Data were collected using questionnaires, interview and observation. ArcMap 10.1 was used to analyse Google earth downloaded images of 2003 and 2016. Other data were analysed using SPSS and content analysis. Findings revealed that land cover changed from farm, grassland and swamp into built up area. The built up area increased from 30.9% to 60.7 % while cultivated area decreased from 30.8% in 2003 to 14.6% in 2016. 81.9 percent of the respondents pointed out that Population increase in peri-urban area through net migration was the main cause of land cover change. The findings show that the population density increased from 160 people per square kilometre in 2002 to 408 people per square kilometre in 2012 in the study area. Also, 47.3% of respondents converted their land portion to built up area for family house, 10% for renting, 8.2% shops, 0.9% building for keeping cattle and 15.4% did not change while 18.2% did not own land portions between 2003 and 2016. Peri-urban land cover changes had positive and negative impact on community’s livelihoods. Positive impacts included increased income from rents and commercial activities which enabled peri-urban residents to pay for health and education services. Negative impact included development of unplanned settlement as 74.6% of land owners purchased and developed plots which were not surveyed. To reduce development of unplanned town, it is recommended that the Ministry of Land, House and Settlement Development should involve community leaders in survey and land use planning so as to acquire title deed. This will enable communities in the peri-urban areas to use land as a mortgage in securing loans from financial institutions and be able to expand the income generating activities in the built up areas.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HD1391.T34B347)
Land cover, Land use, Land use urban, Citizen participation, Songea municipality, Tanzania
Baraka, B.(2018). Impact of land cover change on sustainable community livelihoods: a case of Peri-urban Songea municipality, Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.