Trends Drivers and Implications of Land Use Land Cover (LULC) Changes in Lake Ziway Catchment, Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia
IBRAHIM, Araba Jemal
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This study aimed to examine the trends, drivers and implications of land use land cover change (LULC) in the Lake Ziway catchment, central rift valley of Ethiopia. To address these objectives, the study followed a mixed-method approach that included the use of remote sensing and geographic information system techniques, household surveys, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. In this study a total of 120 household survey respondents were selected by simple random sampling and 15 key informants as well as 4 FGD participants were selected purposively to gather data. The study shows that the conversion of forest land into agricultural lands and settlement areas are the major detected LULC changes, over the last 30 years period (1990-2020). Cultivated land has increased by 40.60% and settlement and plantation lands have increased by 61.54% and 60%, respectively. On the other hand, forest land decreased by 54.85% and grazing land have decreased by 15.85% respectively. Water bodies and wetlands have also decreased by 8.70% and 19.32% area coverage, respectively. The main proximate driving forces of LULC change in the catchment are agricultural expansion, extraction of fuel wood, settlement expansion and overgrazing. Further, the main underlying drivers of LULC change in the catchment are population pressure, urbanization, lack of proper management of watershed resources and land degradation. The study indicates that although some local communities have taken training on catchment management, their participation in actual catchment management activities is very low. The study further indicates that the LULC changes observed in Lake Ziway Catchment have had significant environmental and socio-economic implications. Some of the observed implications of LULC change in the study area are biodiversity loss, soil degradation, forest degradation, changes in hydrological regimes and local climate, land scarcity and food shortages. Therefore, appropriate policy and strategy are required to address LULC change impacts and enhance the sustainable utilization and management of Lake Ziway.