Gis and Remote Sensing In Land Use and Land Cover Change Detection and Land Degeradation: in Area Between Harar and Dire Dawa, Eastern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Universty


The study evaluated changes in landuse and landcover that occurred from 1985-2003 in the area between Harer and Dire Dawa, eastern Ethiopia high land. The majority of the study area falls in Alamaya woreda. The total study area covers about 650km2, so it can be representative of a large part of Eastern Ethiopia highland, in terms of topography, climate, vegetation and socioeconomic conditions. The objectives of the study were to access the pattern and driving forces of landuse and land cover changes and to analyze implication of the change on land and lake degradation. To this end, remotely sensed data i.e. Landsat satellite images of 1985 and 2003 were used to produce ten classes of landuse using Geographical Information System (GIS) with field verification. The results show that during the last 20 years, grassland and shrubs decreased by 716.7 ha (42.4%) and 391.2 ha (20.7%) respectively, mainly due to their conversion to agriculture lands. Marsh area is the most converted class, it was expanded by over 705.9% of it’s size in 1985, which is resulted from drying up of lakes. Temporal croplands decreased by 7081.6 ha (25.4%) while perennial cropland increased by 3050.8 ha (26.4%) woodlands and residential area also increased in 2003. Land and lake degradations are observed as major problems in the area. Land degradation is increased by 3089.4 ha (20.5%) where as, lake and other water bodies are decreased by 524.1 ha (59.1%). These land use changes in general have got paramount implications upon the environment and local people. Especially, land degradation which is intensifying itself in the area requires immediate attention in particular. Slope analyses have been also carried out based on selected and relevant land uses, such as, bareland, temporal crop, shrubs and grasslands. So as the result illustrates, the highest changes for barelands are seen in the slope range between 5.5- 9.6, in temporal croplands 9.7 – 19.5 and in shrubs and grasslands 0- 1.9. Population growth, topography of the area, unwise use of land and other socio-economic activities are major driving forces for the observed changes. Hence different landuse practices, environmental rehabilitation programs and family planning education are some of the appropriate interventions.



Landuse and Landcover