Land Use Dynamics and Variations in Sprawl across Municipalities in the Bamenda Urban-scape from 1996-2018

  •  Fombe Lawrence F.    
  •  Acha Mildred E.    


Worldwide urban areas are having increasing influence over the surrounding landscape. Peri-urban regions of the world are facing challenges which results from sprawl with increasing problems of social segregation, wasted land and greater distance to work. This study seeks to examine the trends in land use dynamics, urban sprawl and associated development implications in the Bamenda Municipalities from 1996 to 2018. The study made use of the survey, historical and correlational research designs. The purposive and snowball techniques were used to collect data. Spatiotemporal analyses were carried out on Landsat Images for 1996, 2008, and 2018 obtained from Earth Explorer, Erdas Image 2014 and changes detected from the maps digitized. The SPSS version 21 and MS Excel 2016 were used to analyze quantitative and qualitative data. The former employed the Pearson correlation analysis. Analysis of land use/land cover change detection reveals that built-up area has increased significantly from 1996 to 2018 at the detriment of forest, wetland and agricultural land at different rates within each municipality. These changes have led to invasion of risk zones, high land values, uncoordinated, uncontrolled and unplanned urban growth. The study suggests that proactive planning, use of GIS to monitor land use activities, effective implementation of existing town planning norms and building regulations, are invaluable strategies to sustainably manage urban growth in Bamenda.

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