University of Twente Student Theses


Relating land, people and environment in Lake Naivasha's Watershed, Kenya

Bekalo, Desta Jula (2011) Relating land, people and environment in Lake Naivasha's Watershed, Kenya.

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Abstract:Linking remote sensing and social science is a new approach to understand human impact on the biophysical environment and to respond to environmental impacts of human economic activities. Integration between social sciences and natural sciences is vital for a better understanding of the Naivasha economy in Kenya that changed so drastically. Human population in general and population density in particular often used as proxy measures for land use and land cover changes and other spatial changes. Thus, estimating the population densities inhabited on the different landscapes, as well as examining the factors affecting population distribution, is essential in formulating appropriate management strategies for sustainable use of natural resources and it helps in examining the risk of natural resource degradation. Therefore, in this paper, an integrated approach developed to reveal the multifaceted relationship between human and environmental interactions using remotely sensed data and socioeconomic data in the Lake Naivasha’s watershed. An innovative approach presented to estimate populations for different land use/land cover types and grid cells based on a Weighted Areal Interpolation Algorithm coupled with geographically weighted regression. Land cover information that had derived from satellite imagery was use as weighing factor and population census data for the final estimation. In addition, the study also assessed land fragmentation, examining the relationship between population distribution and other physical variables (slope, soil, rainfall, altitude, and distance from roads). The population estimate for land cover/land use types show that land cover/land use data contain sufficient information to infer population distribution and to remodel the census data in grid cells to understand the spatial pattern of population distribution in the watershed. Land fragmentation and roads are some of the factors indicating population distribution. Furthermore, the analysis result shows that rainfall and soil are the most influential variables in population distribution in the Lake Navisha’s watershed. Keywords: Land cover, Population estimation and distribution, Weighted areal interpolation, Grid, Land fragmentation, physiographic variables.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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