Integrating Remote Sensing and GIS for Land Degradation Assessment and its Socio-Economic Impact, A Case Study in Northeast of Alaba, SNNPR, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Universty


Land degradation, caused by soil erosion and LULC changes, initiated by poor utilization of land resource beyond the carrying capacity to provide food and other related use has an effect on socio-economic status of the northeast of Alaba. Agriculture is the sole economy sector for people living in the region. The study guided with the main objectives of assessing the extent of land degradation and its socio-economic impact of the region. It also aimed to analyze socio-economic pattern, spatial and temporal variation of soil erosion and LULC of the region. Necessary data were collected through field observation and socio-economic survey. Landsat satellite imageries analyses of three periods (1973, 1986 and 2005) for LULC change detection, soil loss and socio-economic analysis were used. The result for LULC change detection depicted that major reduction in forestland was 42.98% during the period of 1973 to 1986. Increment observed in crop-land was 11.05% during the same period. The same phenomena observed during the period 1986 to 2005, when forest was reduced by 87.43% and crop-land was increased by 52.96%. This change brought a change in soil loss (land degradation) variation across the zones and at large to the whole study area between the period of 1986 to 2005. Accordingly the largest soil loss rate change exhibited in the zone two, which reached to 15.79% and the least went for zone one. In general, soil loss for the whole region changed by 35.43% during this period. The soil loss variations across the zones, which actually reflect the degradation status of the zones, influence socio-economic status of the local people. Zones which characterized higher degradation have lower socio-economic status like the case of zone two. To protect the land against further degradation and utilizing the land resource sustainably, the potential solution could be, introduce rural infrastructure for alternative livelihood of agrarian community and scale up the awareness of farmer about land degradation and possible management option. Key words: land degradation, LULC change, northeast Alaba, socio-economic status



Land degradation, LULC change, Northeast Alaba, Socio-economic status