Patterns of land use cover change and vegetation productivity in Amuda Catchment Area, Zombo District
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Land use land cover change (LULCC) is increasingly becoming a problem in many developing countries whose human population is rapidly growing. LULCC in water catchment areas results into decrease in the swampy area, biodiversity loss, impairment to water holding capacity, loss of wetland raw materials, loss of soil fertility and climate change. These have negative implications for the livelihoods of people who depend on wetland goods and services. To enable restoration programs, there is need to understand the extent and cause of LULCC in a catchment. This study analyzed the pattern of land use land cover change and vegetation productivity in Amuda catchment area, Zombo district. The objectives of the study were; 1) to assess land use/land cover change over the past 30 years in Amuda catchment, Zombo district, 2) evaluate the vegetation productivity in Amuda swamp, Zombo district and 3) to assess the drivers of land use/cover change in Amuda swamp, Zombo district. GIS and remote sensing techniques including change detection were used to assess the changes in LUC in Amuda catchment area. Satellite images were used to assess vegetation health using NDVI. To assess the divers of LULCC, 51 households and 6 key informants were interviewed. Data was analyzed using SPSS v 26. Results shown a significant change in land use cover in 2000, 2010 and 2020. Agriculture and built up areas expanded in these periods at the expense of forest cover and swamp area which significantly declined in the same period. There was general decline in vegetation productivity throughout the 30-year period. High population, poverty, ineffective laws and policies, expansion of agricultural land, inadequate knowledge about the effects of land use land cover change were the driving forces for LULCC. These findings provide a starting point for environmental institutions and government to reduce on the rates of land use/land cover change. The study recommended sensitization of people about the impact of land use land cover change, law enforcement and family planning.