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Assessing the Impact of Different Land Use Activities on the Vegetation Cover and Sustainable Livelihoods along the Banks of Niles at Khartoum State, Sudan

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.33005    3,186 Downloads   3,771 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Land use activities (LUA) have a significant impact on the level and situation of vegetation characteristics and in turn affect human population as they are considered as the main global environmental changes. This study analyzed land use patterns in three different locations in Khartoum, Sudan: banks of River Nile, Blue and White Nile. The main objective of the present study were 1) to assess the changes in land use and their impact on vegetation cover and sustainable livelihoods of the population, and 2) to identify the factors behind land use changes along the Banks of Niles, Khartoum State. The study data used were field survey (questionnaire) which revealed the existence of five types of land use patterns: roads, human settlements, agricultural and plantations farms, and industrial of brick-kilns making and investment areas. The primary data were collected through social survey (questionnaire) as face-to-face interviews with local communities in the study area and by observations. The secondary records during the field survey were collected from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Forest National Corporation (FNC) documents, scientific papers and annual reports. SPSS was used to analyze the data acquired from questionnaires. Results showed that agricultural land, and industrial and residential areas increased while forests and bare lands decreased as a result of changes imposed by the government and local population with consequent land degradation in terms of environmental value and productivity. Interestingly, it was found that the impact of land use on vegetation cover and livelihood of the population was very complex and dynamic and that the main influencing factors in this process were climate fluctuations and human illegal interference. For instance, vast areas in west bank of White Nile were changed from agriculture to residence and investment. In conclusion, land use requires a clear plan for optimum utilization. Various human activities are behind these changes, which have led to deterioration of forest cover and loss of the source of income of local population. Because of such alarming changes, decision makers should initiate efficient plans and management of forests to minimize changes in land cover, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. We recommend that a sound land use plan should be revised often to ensure rehabilitation, reduce vulnerability to desertification and halt the encroachment by construction of facilities and buildings at the expense of environmental issues.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Omer, G. , Elhassan, B. and Mohammed, F. (2015) Assessing the Impact of Different Land Use Activities on the Vegetation Cover and Sustainable Livelihoods along the Banks of Niles at Khartoum State, Sudan. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 52-61. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.33005.

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