Assessment of Land Use Land Cover Change and Its Implication on Agro-Pastoral Area of Gode District, Somali Regional State, Ethiopia

Anteneh Worku


Studying land use/land cover change plays an important role in order to understand the economic, environmental and social consequences of the changes. The current study was conducted aiming to assess the temporal land use/land cover changes, Drivers of these changes and its implications on the environment and agro-pastoral communities. Remote sensing and GIS tools were used to detect the changes in land use/land cover between 1973 and 2012. Formal household survey and key informant interviews were employed to collect socioeconomic data. Five land use/land cover categories (bare land, agricultural land, settlement, woody shrub land and grass land) were identified. The study area has experienced with severe land use/land cover changes as a result of human pressure and has an adverse impact on local communities, livestock and the environment. Bare land (22% - 51%), agricultural land (1.2 – 5%) and settlement (0.8% - 1.3%) areas have been increased whereas woody shrub land (30% - 10%) and grass land (46% - 32.7%) declined. Drought, overgrazing, erratic rainfall and charcoal production were the major causes behind the decline of woody shrub land and grass land while the increasing of bare land. Livestock and crop production are the major livelihood sources, which were seriously affected by land use/land cover changes as a result of population pressure, recurrent drought, desiccation of water points, and ecological degradation. Sustainable woodland management like conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources, control grazing (zero grazing), and proper irrigation could help to improve the natural environment and the livelihood of agro-pastorals. Looking for alternative income generation from fishery and energy alternative skims are also indispensable to reduce natural resources degraded features beyond strengthening household income sources.

Keywords: GIS, RS, LULCC, Formal Survey, Livelihood, Somali Region

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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