Assessing the effect of land use land cover change on Weija Catchment

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Humans have been altering land cover since pre-history and since the advent of plant and animal domestication as well as industrialization, through the clearance of patches of land for agriculture, residential and industrial purposes. In the past two decades, the impact of human activities on the Weija Catchment area has grown enormously, altering entire landscapes, and ultimately impacting the environment. This research seeks to analyse the Land Use Land Cover Change (LULCC) of the Weija catchment area using Remote Sensing (RS) data and Geographic Information System (GIS) based techniques. Field observations and measurements were employed to validate results from the remotely sensed data. LULCC was conducted using Landsat imageries for 1990, 2000 and 2011 applying maximum likelihood classification and change detection techniques. The results show that most of the LULC types have rate of change greater than the national rate of 1.96% especially between 2000 and 2011. Notably, however, the water body gained a surface area of 3.004 km2 due to siltation. The main force driving the change is the increase in human activities such as farming, sand winning and built-up operations within the Weija catchment area. These are the possible factors responsible for polluting the Weija dam. This research has shown that the use of GIS and RS techniques is a valuable tool for detecting and predicting the rate of forest cover change and the identification of areas under risk for sustainable management.
Thesis submitted to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Resource Management