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A Gis and ReMOte Sensing AssessMent of Vegetation Cover Change and Its IMpact on CoMMunity Livelihoods in `Taranganya Location, Kuria District



Global concern is growing over deforestation because of its impacts on climatic as well as its contributing effects on biodiversity in Kenya, this concern has been magnified by the recent water shortages and reduced river volumes caused by the degradation of water catchment areas, with Mau forest as an example of the widespread challenges our forest and water catchment areas are facing. This research undertook a vegetation cover change assessment of Taranganya Location using GIS and Remote Sensing technologies by tracing the changes and patterns since 1976. The land cover assessment employed the use of Landsat Images at ten years interval with images of 1976, and 2002) to analyze the changes in vegetation cover, land use patterns including trends, direction of change, rates of change, and intensity of forest cover. The assessment involve the use image processing, analysis and mapping software (ERDAS and ArcGIS) to process the Landsat Satellite images. The outcome of the digital assessment produced a series of vegetation cover and land use change maps, statistical tables and representative graphs and charts. These, compounded with stakeholder consultation, house hold interview, focused group meetings, transect walks along rivers, farms and wood lots, discussion with key informants in the location and forest officers in the district cemented the results of the digital assessment. The study justified the need for collective action to safeguard Taranganya Location ecosystem and community livelihoods which are otherwise currently vulnerable and challenged. Hopefully, these findings will trigger restoration, mitigation and control mechanisms to check consequent activities to contain the situation.   

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