Peri-Urban Land Use Dynamics and Development Implications in the Bamenda III Municipality of Cameroon

Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi, Balgah Sounders Nguh, Achia Soulange Nafoin


A consequence of rapid and uncontrolled urbanization is the growth of the peri-urban environment. Peri-urban areas the world over are undergoing rapid changes in their land uses with significant development implications. In the present study, Bamenda III, a municipality of Cameroon, which forms part of the Bamenda Metropolis—a primate city par excellence, witnessed dramatic changes in its peri-urban zone. Such changes are exemplified by the multiplication of land uses, a reduction in
agricultural land in favour of settlements and other infrastructural developments as well as wetland invasion. Using a systematic sampling of 100 inhabitants in the Bamenda III peri-urban zone, complemented by interviews and secondary data sources, we sought to investigate the evolution, drivers and development implications of peri-urban land use dynamics. The results showed that during the year 2000-2015, there was a reduction in agricultural land area from 2943ha to 1389ha and a corresponding increase in the area for settlements from 1389ha to 2943ha. A positive correlation was observed between population growth and peri-urban land use dynamics in Bamenda III. The observed
dynamics has significant developmental implications in terms of future planning perspectives, future developments at the expense of agricultural land and further encroachments into wetlands. The study
concludes that a coordinated and planned growth policy should be introduced in order to control rapid peri-urban land use change in the face of population growth.

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