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Urbanization and its effects on land and water resources in Ijebuland, southwestern Nigeria

Abstract

The many widely reported significant environmental changes in sub-Saharan communities caused by population change and expansion of built-up areas have seldom been documented in detail. Poor documentation of environmental changes and their effects may contribute to poor governance and planning in parts of the region. This study examined change in the form and attributes of areas under different land cover in a relatively homogenous Yoruba ethnic group community in Southwestern Nigeria. It used a mix-method approach of remote sensing and social surveys analysis. Landsat images covering the area for 1986, 2000 and 2016 were evaluated for land use/cover change, and the impact of the changes was assessed with social surveys (questionnaire administration and key informant interviews). Results showed a 212.2% increase in the built-up area and a corresponding decrease in forest and surface water area (streams) by 74.4% and 66.3%, respectively. Coping strategies were weak and overtly reactive, as there appeared to be no evidence of any previous plan for response to such degrading effects. The study concluded that urbanization exhibits degrading effects on land and water attributes in the area, and therefore recommends improved monitoring of the region through relevant policy and institutional investitures.

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Onanuga, M.Y., Eludoyin, A.O. & Ofoezie, I.E. Urbanization and its effects on land and water resources in Ijebuland, southwestern Nigeria. Environ Dev Sustain 24, 592–616 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-021-01458-1

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Keywords

  • Urban growth
  • Water resources
  • Vegetation
  • Landsat image