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Toward achieving a sustainable management: characterization of land use/land cover in Sokoto Rima floodplain, Nigeria

N. B. Eniolorunda, S. A. Mashi () and G. N. Nsofor
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N. B. Eniolorunda: Usmanu Danfodiyo University
S. A. Mashi: University of Abuja
G. N. Nsofor: Federal University of Technology

Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, 2017, vol. 19, issue 5, 1855-1878

Abstract: Abstract Land use change is the main driving force of global environmental change and is considered as very central to the ongoing debate on sustainable development. Even though large volume of literature materials is available of land use/land cover (LU/LC) change for many areas, very little is known of it in the floodplain of the Sokoto Rima River Basin of Nigeria despite the basin’s strategic importance. Thus, this study characterized the basin’s LU/LC and its change using computer-based digital classification of near-anniversary Landsat 5 TM imagery of November 23, 1998, and Landsat 8 OLI of December 2, 2013. The results of the digital classification were complimented with field-based observations on major observable characteristics of every LU/LC identified. Thirteen classes (forest area, dense grassland, grassy fallow, grazed open grassland, open cultivation, open grain fallow farmland, pepper cultivation, rice farmland, scrubland, sugarcane farmland, dry bare land, sand deposit and wetland/water) were characterized and the nature and extent of their changes assessed. 40 % of the basin’s uses is under cultivation, 22 % is under fallow, 27 % is either degraded or non-cultivable, while 11 % is forested. Change events include forest loss, increase in area cultivated, expansion of shrub/scrubland and pervasiveness of grazing. The changes were more pronounced in the upper than either the central and southern segments of the basin. In general LU/LC changes in the basin are reflection of increased human population pressure and effects of climate change. The LU/LC patterns and changes suggest underutilization and mismanagement of the floodplain which have impact on soil, hydrology and biodiversity with serious implication for livelihood and food security. The study recommends that interventions are needed to promote enhanced and sustainable management of land, water and vegetation resources in the basin, with particular emphasis on empowering the local land users to participate actively toward sustainable management of the floodplain.

Keywords: Land; Use; Cover; Characterization; Sustainable; Management; Sokoto Rima; River Basin (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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