Assessing the Impacts of Urban Sprawl on Suburban Villages in the Bamenda Metropolitan Periphery, North West Cameroon

Eleno Manka’a FUBE


Man has been and remains mobile, conquering and impacting every space he occupies. Man’s impact on space has been more accentuated since the 20th century than erstwhile in history, owing to demographic explosion and more advanced technological innovations. Urban space and adjoining lands are impacted most compared to the rural milieu. This study examines the ramifications of rapid and disordered urbanisation on peripheral villages to the city of Bamenda. This is crucial in understanding the threats and consequences of the phenomenon of unending urbanisation on contiguous agricultural land. The trend of urbanisation and resultant impacts were ascertained by analysing data drawn from national census figures, LANDSAT satellite images and suitable field surveys. Analyses revealed that a growth of 14.6% of the population between 1973 and 2018 produced a corresponding sprawl of 97.54% of the spatial extent of Bamenda metropolis, which presently covers 40.96 times the spatial area it occupied in 1973. This has grave repercussions for contiguous agricultural land and urban food security. The paper posits that a scrupulous compliance with existing urban master plans and implementation of carefully designed policies to protect agricultural land are inevitable in checking urban growth and its induced effects; and guaranteeing urban food security.

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