Assessing the effects of urban sprawl on the land/cover changes: case study Bushenyi district
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The rapid expansion of urban areas as a result of population growth and economic prosperity is causing Land use/ cover changes in cities all over the world. Ishaka division Bushenyi district, Uganda, is no exception to this trend. Currently, Ishaka division population stands at 41063 people, and this number is expected to rise in the next coming years. Consequently, a large population will burden the already fragile ecosystems that characterize the urban landscape. The aim of this study was to derive the spatial patterns of urbanization in Ishaka Division using geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing technologies as well as identify causes of urban sprawl and effects on Land use/cover types using socio-economic survey. I used Landsat images (2015 and 2019) and produced classification maps using ArcGIS 10.4. The results showed that there has been an overall expansion of urban areas at the expense of other Land use/ cover types especially in the Ishaka division. There has been a significant reduction in wetland and grassland. The temporal period between 2015 and 2019 showed the highest conversion of wetland and grassland to builtup area. The overall urban expansion rate from 2015 to 2019 was 3%. I analysed various factors that I hypothesized drove urbanization, population growth was the major driver of urbanization followed by improved infrastructure, increase in housing congestion and high level of education also played a significant role in the increment of urban areas in Ishaka division. Other factors such as high economic growth and increase in income levels have also contributed to urban sprawl. The findings of this study provide decision makers as well as the public with reliable information about Land use/ cover changes its causes as well as the effects.