An analysis of land use land cover changes and the urban heat island effect in Mbale and Jinja cities
Nsiima, Flavia Tendo
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As economic globalization continues to intensify, there is an increasing trend of Land Use Land Cover change in many cities. It is likely that the rapid urbanization and population growth will result in anthropogenic Land Use Land Cover Change, with many negative effects on the environment, including the Urban Heat Island effect, hence higher Land Surface Temperatures in urban areas. However, limited research has been conducted to establish the understanding of how changes in Land Use Land Cover would influence the UHI effect especially in major newly created cities in Uganda. In this study, the impact of Land Use Land Cover changes on the Urban Heat Island effect in Mbale and Jinja cities of Uganda was conducted by using Landsat satellite images for a period of 2010 to 2020. Remote Sensing (RS) was used to classify the different landscape components and map the Land Use Land Cover Changes using the processed Landsat images at a 5-year interval for 2010, 2015 and 2020 in ArcGIS 10.5; and Land Surface Temperatures for the Urban Heat Island effect within each Land Use Land Cover class for the different years were obtained through zonal statistics. The results showed that the most dominant Land Use Land Cover class in 2010 was cultivated land in Mbale city and water bodies in Jinja city. In both cities, built up area had the greatest increase in land area throughout the study period but majorly between 2015 and 2020, and highest UHI effect especially in 2010 followed by bare and cultivated land; while forested land and water bodies had the least UHI effect. Forested, cultivated and bare land generally decreased over the study period in the two cities. Therefore, there is need for better land use management and planning systems for cities’ authorities to implement smart growth strategies such as greening, control of expansion of cities, and adoption of cool pavements to ensure sustainable urbanization of cities Uganda.