Assessment of land use/cover changes and its implications to sustainable wetland resources Management

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study was done to assess land use/cover changes and its implication on wetland management in Simiyu wetland in Magu district. Structured interviews, focused group discussions, key informants interview, participant observation and transect walk were used to collect information. Analysis of Satellite images namely Land sat MSS of 1973 scene; Land sat TM of 1991 and 2006 were used to assess different land uses/covers types. Change detection analysis was used to analyze the extent and magnitude of land use/cover changes. It was observed that there has been a spatial and temporal change in land use/ cover types between 1973 and 2006. Natural vegetation cover has increased by 10.3% from 1973 to 1991 and decreased by 40.3% from 1991 to 2006 while crop land has increased by 38.5 % between 1991 and 2006. Area under settlement (built up areas) has shown an increased trend of 10.8% to24% from 1973 to 1991. Such changes have been attributed to the nature and different impacts of several land use change. The major drivers of these changes have mainly been high population growth leading to increased settlement areas and expansion of croplands into wetlands as well as marginal areas to meet an increasing market demand and population needs. Other factors include high livestock population leading to overgrazing and land degradation. The expansion of croplands, settlement and overgrazing contributed to loss of vegetation, wildlife habitats and land degradation consequently affecting the sustainability of the wetland resources in the study area. Due to high human population pressure land availability has become very scarce; consequently the small over utilization of the available land by farmers and livestock keepers.It is concluded that Simiyu wetland has experienced changes in land uses which threaten its sustainability. The wetland being a major source of livelihoods and other ecosystem services participatory land use planning involving all stakeholders among other factors is important strategy in ensuring sustainable resource management in the Simiyu wetland.
: Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QH541.5.M3P47)
Sustainable, Wetland
Peter, A (2010) Assessment of land use/cover changes and its implications to sustainable wetland resources Management, Masters of Science in Natural Resources Assessment and Management, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.