Estimating Per Capita Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) in Makurdi, Northcentral Nigeria

Bernard Tarza Tyubee


The study estimated annual and temporal variation in per capita Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) in Makurdi, Northcentral Nigeria. A total of four Landsat TM/ETM+ images were acquired in April of 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 for the study. A total of five LULC types namely water, forest, undergrowth/wetland, cultivated land and built-up land were derived from the Landsat images using supervised classification method. The per capita LULCC was derived by dividing the areas of LULC types by the actual population data. The result showed that built-up land recorded the highest long-term gain in area by 179km2 (130%), with an increment of 8.7% per anum, and undergrowth/wetland lost 119km2 (32%) in area with a decrease of 2.1% per annum from 1991 to 2006. The per capita LULCC of built-up land has increased from 575m2/person (1991) to 1059m2/person (2006), representing an increment of 481m2/person (83%). The undergrowth/wetland recorded the highest decrease in per capita LULCC from 1542m2/person (1991) to 836m2/person (2006), representing a decline by 706m2/person (46%). The study concludes that undergrowth/wetland is the most vulnerable LULC type due to urbanisation, and sustainable urban planning should be practised to conserve the natural cover materials in the study area.

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