Analysing the implications of landuse and land cover changes on landslide occurrence in Bukalasi sub- county, Bududa district.
Nyiwer, Pauline Dut
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Biodiversity loss and land degradation is a major global issue with over 25% of the global land area degraded and more than 2 billion hectares already affected. This is attributed to the continued land use land cover changes (LULCC) that have driven serious impacts and most evidenced by the indicators of human footprint on the globe. Communities living within mountainous regions like the Elgon face numerous challenges due to the increasing nature and magnitude of land use land cover changes. This study was aimed at assessing the implications of land use land cover changes on landslide occurrences in Bukalasi Sub County, which can be used to develop more feasible solutions in addition to the existing restoration strategies. Specifically, the study sought analyze the factors contributing to land use land cover changes, examine the implications of land use land cover changes on landslide occurrences, examine the existing restoration measures against land use land cover implications on landslide occurrences. The study used a cross sectional design while deploying a mixed approach (qualitative and quantitative methods) where simple random sampling was employed in selection of the households, purposive sampling on the key informants and snow ball sapling where each respondents named land owners greatly affected by the impacts of land use land cover changes. Primary data got from the 42 households’ heads was used. Data was collected through field investigations and survey, interviews, focused group discussion and direct field observation. It was then analyzed using thematic content analysis where descriptive and inferential statistics were used. The study findings revealed that increasing settlement, cutting down trees, increasing rainfall are the dominant factors contributing to land use land cover changes in the area of study. The social economic impacts of land use land cover changes in the study area included loss of farmlands, land fragmentation and loss of livelihoods. In addition, the ecological implications included soil loss, biodiversity loss, pollution and habitant loss. The study further revealed that planting of trees, use energy saving stoves and terracing were the existing measures against land use land cover implications on landslide occurrence in the study area. Based on normal approximations, the relationship between income levels and land use land cover change was not significant statistically with P- values of >0.05 which meant that there is no relationship between income levels and land use land cover changes. The study therefore established creation of awareness through Sensitization, construction of schools involving stakeholders such as police to enforce the policy of encroachment as some of the recommendable intervention measures.