Impacts of Land Use and Land Cover Changes on the Environment associated with the Establishment of Rongo University in Rongo SubCounty, Migori County, Kenya
Owuor, J.B. Okeyo
Nyamai, Daniel Odinde
Ochola, George Ouma
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Human activities have been at the centre in land use and land cover changes. Activities such as farming, new settlement, land reclamation, industrialization together with urbanization have been seen to influence land use and land cover changes. This study examined how establishment of Rongo University as an institution of higher learning has influenced land use and land cover changes in Rongo Sub-County, Migori County, Kenya. The study adopted the use of GIS and Remote sensing techniques to acquire, analyze and determine changes in Landsat images for 2003, 2010, 2013, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Before and after the University was established. The land use and land cover classes that were used included tree cover, open land, plantation agriculture, settlement patterns, and grassland vegetation. Supervised classification was used to analyze land-use/cover change date generated from GIS and remote sensing which made it possible to define training data set/signature that indicated the pixels to be selected and the type of software to be used for land-cover categories. The study established that there is a significant influence on land use and land cover changes as a result of establishing Rongo University as an institution of higher learning. As they come with a number of activities in the areas of establishment. The study noted that new settlements have emerged and replaced the initial land cover with attendant effects on ecosystem and biodiversity. Further, the study recorded considerable transformation of farmlands into built up environment. The open land also reduces significantly, and university triggered informal settlement or slums also emerged.
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