Land use land cover dynamics at Bilate Alaba sub-watershed, southern Ethiopia
This study was intended to detect land use/land cover changes over 44 years in the Bilate Alaba Subwatersed, Southern Ethiopia. Four Landsat images (1972, 1986, 2008 and 2017) were used to as inputs to produce four land cover maps of the subwatershed; ERDAS imagine and ArcGIS software were utilized to accomplish the analysis. In the period between 1972 to1986 cultivated and settlement showed an incremental change by 280.91 and 71.43 ha respectively, while bare land and shrub & grass land decreased by 225.26 and 140.25 ha respectively. In the period 1986 to 2008 cultivated and bare land increased by 105.13 and 52.90 ha while forest and shrub & grass land decreased by 103.41 and 50.84 ha respectively. Between 2008 and 2017 settlement and bare land increased by 83.20 and 65.54 ha respectively while shrub & grass land and forest land decreased by 112.59 and 46.16 ha respectively. The results showed that cultivated land and settlement land expanded by 67.38% and 532% respectively whereas forest land, shrub land &grass land declined by 66.35%, 18.36% respectively over the analysis period (1972-2017). There should be appropriate rural land use/management policy by identifying proper land for specific purpose so that degraded lands would not put under cultivation.
Keywords: Land use, Land cover, GIS, Landsat