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Title: Impact of Land Use on River Systems in Ghana
Authors: Ayivor, J.S.
Gordon, C.
Keywords: Land use land cover change
Remote Sensing
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: West African Journal of Applied Ecology
Citation: West African Journal of Applied Ecology 20 (3) 83-95
Abstract: Rivers play significant roles in the provision of water for domestic and industrial purposes nevertheless, land use dynamics continue to impact on river catchments which have negative repercussions for river health. This study focuses on land use change in the Okyeman Traditional Area, which encompasses three major river basins namely, the Densu, the Birim and the Ayensu. The study was aimed at investigating causes and impacts of land use change within the three river catchments and how these impacts could be curtailed to safeguard river health and sustainable water supply. Data for the study was culled from the existing literature on land use, land use change, land cover change and related subjects. Additional information was derived from analysis of remotely sensed Landsat 7 ETM satellite imagery. One major finding was that most of the river basins have undergone massive transformation over the last three decades as a result of various land use activities. The dominant land use types in the basins presently are agriculture, urban development, grazing, residential and transportation and fishing. The study also revealed that mining, indiscriminate waste disposal, water extraction and deforestation for fuel wood and other domestic uses, excessive use of chemical fertilizers and land degradation due to improper agricultural practices are also major land use activities that impact negatively on the river systems. The study concluded that there is the need to streamline land use activities, conserve vital ecosystems like watershed areas and maintain buffers along stream channels as a matter of policy to ensure adequate protection of aquatic fauna and to ensure sustainable water supply.
Appears in Collections:Department of Geography and Resources Development
Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies

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