Impacts of Resettlement on Land Use Land Cover Changes and Natural Vegetation Conservation Practices of Resettlers in Abobo Woreda, Gambella, Ethiopia

Brhane Meles Gebre


This study was conducted to explore extent, trends, and identifies causes of land use land cover (LULC) changes over the period, 1987 to 2009 along with inspecting resettlers’ involvements in natural vegetation conservation in Abobo Woreda. The design followed in this study was sequential explanatory strategy, a mixed research method. To this end, primarily maximum likelihood supervised classification detection techniques were applied to Landsat images acquired in 1987, 2002 and 2009 to produce three maps with field trip verification. Software used for this aspect was Arc GIS 9.3and ERDAS Imagine 10. Secondly, among 6 resettlers’ menders in the Woreda, 4 menders were involved in the study; thereby data were collected from a total of 68 households (HHs) using semi structured questionnaire, focus group discussion, key informant interview and field observation. Software used for this part was SPSS Ver-20. Accordingly, results of this study revealed that seven LULC types were recognized namely: forestland, wetland, woodland, farmland, bare land, water body and grassland which account about 361324.42 hectares (ha). The trends observed from 1987 to 2002 indicated decreases at rates of 0.51ha of forestland, 1.467ha of grassland and 2.837ha of woodland per year; meanwhile, 37.3ha of farmland and 9.50haof bare land increments were also observed. Correspondingly, from 2002 to 2009, bare land and farmland continued to escalate with mean annual rate of 859.43ha and 9.88ha per year respectively; while forestland and grassland were decreasing at the rates of 1.27 and 10 ha each year respectively. Besides, the causes of LULC changes were identified as farmland expansion, fuel wood extraction and wildfire; being the former a major cause. Moreover, this study disclosed that majority of sampled HHs were involved in tree planting as conservation practice. Therefore, the government should limit further expansion of extensive farmland and implement rehabilitation practice of degraded land. Eventually, to ensure results of this study additional research is required that covers wide area of the study Woreda.

Keywords: Landsat images, LULC changes, natural vegetation and resettlement.

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