Land use and Land Cover Change in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State-Nigeria (1987-2020)

Abstract

This study examined landuse and land cover change in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. It adopted the cross-sectional research design, utilizing satellite images (1987-2020) and questionnaire for socio-economic data from 210 randomly selected households from seven communities (Aluu, Ubima, Elele, Igwuruta, Ozuoha, Isiokpo and Omagwa). Three research questions and three objectives guided the study. Satellite image classification and analysis was done with the RS and GIS tools of Landsat TM 1986, ETM image and ASTER. From the findings, the main landuse activities in the area are: crop cultivation, plantation agriculture, residential, institutional, commercial, transportation and recreational infrastructures; there is significant relationship between landuse and land-cover change, as the former leads to the later; there is significant difference in rate of land-cover change from1987-2020. While there is constant increase in rate of expansion of residential built-up at 9.3% (1987-1997) and 15.4% (2007-2020); plantations grew at 2% (1987-1997) and declined at 1.36% (2007-2020); there is a steady decline in land-cover for crop cultivation, institutional and recreational infrastructures. Finally, change in landuse and land-cover pose some social and environmental challenges on the people e.g. loss of forested lands, biodiversity, sacred grooves, wet lands; and decline in farmers’ income. The study recommended for the establishment of high rise residential and commercial buildings; and the diversification of the area’s economy into secondary activities and services.

Keywords: Biodiversity Loss, Change, Forest, Land Cover, land use

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 43-61 (Download PDF)

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