Assessing Wetland Degradation Using Land Use and Land Cover Change In Lukanga Wetland, Zambia

  • Kalutwa Kabamba Changwe Department of water development, Zambia
Keywords: Degradation, wetlands, land use cover change, remote sensing and GIS.


The main aim of this research was to estimate the proportional rate at which the lukanga catchment was being altered in terms of spatial and temporal scales, three objectives were answered. Extents and trends of land use and cover change were evaluated as well as estimating the rates of land use and cover change on wetland degradation in lukanga catchment from 1997-2017 as study objectives. Geographic information systems (ArcGIS 10.2.1 ) and remote sensing techniques methods were used, land cover datasets (Thematic mapper )TM, (Enhanced thematic mapper )ETM and (Operational land imager) OLI_TIRS images derived from Gloves between 1997 and 2017 were used to generate land cover map with a resolution of 30m x 30m based on supervised image classification methods using (ENVI 5.3) while considering only six land classes (forest, grassland, settlement, cultivated land, wetlands, water and bare soil), thereafter advanced mathematical models and descriptive statistics were used to determine the extents, trends and rates of change. The results indicated that though resource is fixed, between 1997 and 2017, settlements, cultivated land, grasslands, water and bare soil area (13,970.5 ha/year, 10,054.2 ha/year, 40,175.9 ha/year, 586.6 ha/year and 3,439.4 ha/year respectively) increased at high rates per hector per year while in the same periods forest land cover and wetlands area (-62,784.6 ha/year and -5441.9 ha/year respectively) decreased drastically over the 20 years period. Lukanga catchment for the period of 20 years (1997-2017) showed significant degradation rates on forests and wetlands areas.