Quantifying the impact of the Land Reform Programme on land use and land cover changes in Chipinge District, Zimbabwe, based on Landsat observations

Jombo, Simbarashe Sanyaruwa
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The purpose of this research was to quantify the impact of the land reform programme on land use and land cover changes (LULCC) in Chipinge district situated in Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe. The Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) of 2000 was selected as the major cause of LULCC in the district. This research addresses the problem of knowing and understanding if there was LULCC in the district before and after the enactment of the FTLRP in the year 2000. The research objectives of this study were as follows: to investigate the impact of the FTLRP of 2000 on land use and land cover in Chipinge district; to test the use of Landsat earth observation data in quantifying the changes on land use and cover from 1992 to 2014 in Chipinge district and to predict LULCCs in the year 2028 in Chipinge district. The methodology for detecting the impact of LULCC was based on the comparison of Landsat MSS, TM, ETM+ and OLI/ TIRS scene p168r74 images covering Chipinge district taken on diverse dates in five different years. In order to prepare the Landsat images for change detection analysis, a number of image processing operations were applied which include radiometric calibration and atmospheric correction. The images were classified using the Support Vector Machine (SVM) and evaluation was done through accuracy assessment using the confusion matrix. The prediction of LULCC in the year 2028 was modeled by the Markov Chain Analysis (MCA) and the Cellular Automata Markov Chain Analysis (CA MCA) so as to show land distribution in the future. The results show that agricultural farmland, estates and area covered by water bodies declined whilst there was an increase in built-up areas, forest land and bare land since the enactment of the FTLRP. The prediction results show that in the year 2028, there will be a decrease in the amount of land covered by water bodies, forest and agricultural farmland. There will be an increase in the amount of built-up in the year 2028 as a result of population growth. It is the recommended in this study that better remedies be put in place to increase forest cover and also the use of high resolution images in further studies. There should be exploration of the relationships between LULCC, socio-economic and demographic variables would develop more understanding of LULCC. The study also recommends the preparation of a proper land use plan to deal with a reduction in the growth of settlement which is vital in the planning and management of social and economic development programs.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing) at the School of Geography, Archaeology & Environmental Studies. Johannesburg, 2016.
Jombo, Simbarashe Sanyaruwa (2016) Quantifying the impact of the Land Reform Programme on land use and land cover changes in Chipinge District, Zimbabwe, based on Landsat observations, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/handle/10539/21733>