An Assessment of Land Use Land Cover Changes and Restoration Perspectives of The Mbam Watershed of Adamawa Plateau
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Important ecosystem services provided by watersheds, such as soil and water quality, biodiversity, microclimates, methane emissions, and carbon sequestration, are frequently harmed by Land Use Land Cover Change (LULCC). LULCC also enhance the susceptibility of natural resources to specific natural calamities and contribute to climate change.
The goal of this effort was to build the hydrological system of the Mbam watershed. It also assessed the trend in land use and cover change over a 20-year period and identified its causes and potential restoration opportunities.
Ground truthing, key informant interviews, focus groups, transect walks, and GPS coordinate collection were all done as part of participatory field observation.
The Mayo Banyo Division was the subject of data collecting. Using software programmes like ENVI (version 5.2), ARCGIS (version 10.4), and the SPSS statistical package, the collected data were analysed.
To track spatial and temporal changes in land use/cover, remote sensing methods were employed to analyse satellite images from the Landsat MSS of 2000 and Landsat TM of 2020 scenarios.
The structure of the Mbam watershed’s hydrological system was created; it displays a dendritic drainage pattern that resembles the branching pattern of tree roots. When land use and cover changes were evaluated from 2000 to 2020, it was found that forest cover had decreased to 40.6 percent, grassland had slightly decreased to 13.2 percent, and water bodies had decreased to 0.88 percent.
However, built-up areas came in second with 0.67 percent, followed by 42.62 percent. The study also found that poverty and rapid population increase were the main forces behind these shifts.
Overgrazing, bushfires, and agricultural expansion were further factors. Due to these changes, households have chosen a variety of livelihood options, ecosystem restoration to mitigate the effects of changes in land use and cover, and law enforcement to safeguard unsustainable land use.
As a result of this study, there is a positive outlook for ecosystem restoration because the majority of community members support it. Participatory tree planting, agroforestry, and land use planning.
The study recommends that, more studies should be done on the hydrology of Adamawa Plateau since limited information exists.
Key words: Land use/cover changes, watershed, ecosystem Restoration, forest, Mbam Watershed