The Use of GIS And Remote Sensing to Evaluate the Impact of Land Cover and Land Use Change on Discharges in River Njoro Watershed, Kenya

Citation:
Kundu PM, Chemelil MC, Onyando JO, Gichaba M. "The Use of GIS And Remote Sensing to Evaluate the Impact of Land Cover and Land Use Change on Discharges in River Njoro Watershed, Kenya." Journal of World Association of Soil and Water Conservation. 2007;J2-08.

Abstract:

River Njoro watershed represents diverse hydrological environments in Kenya with considerable land use changes. It was once covered by rich vegetation of highland evergreen forests which extended from the Mau hills and turned into woodland dominated by acacia trees in the Rongai-Njoro plains. it was first opened up for settlement in i889 when the Uganda Railway passed through it. Large ranches and farms were started and the area grew to become a major agricultural region. An increase in population between the 1970s and 1990s led to deforestation, land fiagmentation and cultivation of wetlands to meet the demands for food, fuel Wood and housing. To evaluate the impact of land use and land cover changes, remotely sensed data, Geographical Information System (GIS) and ground survey methods Were used. A 322% land use change from forest and Woodland to agriculture and built-up was determined from the analysis of the imagery and ground survey. This impacted negatively on the hydrology of the area, resulting in reduced infiltration, high peak runolf, reduced discharges and “drying up” of many boreholes. The study provided results which could be extrapolated to similar Watersheds, hence the approach could be adopted for Watershed management in Kenya.

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