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This study assessed land use changes and its implications to natural resource management in Image and Muwale villages located in the Great Ruaha.
The study employed questionnaire survey, FGD and direct observations in data collection.
A sample size of 10% was used for household interviews from the two study villages.
The study further applied remote sensing and GIS methods for satellite image analysis and detection of land use cover changes over time.
Findings from the study show that the study villages have experienced spatial and temporal changes in land use over time.
However, the nature and magnitude of changes as well as driving factors varied across the villages.
It was observed that major land use changes in Muwale started in 1990’s, the period when rice started to gain external market.
The observed land use changes have negative implications on natural resources across the villages.
Increased cultivation of horticultural crops in Image and paddy production in Muwale has put much pressure to lowland areas (wetlands) and increased demand of water resources.
The study recommends integrated efforts towards ensuring sustainable land use for increased agricultural productivity.
Nico Malik is a PhD candidate at Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania) and Danish Institute of International Studies (Denmark).
He holds a master of science in natural resource assessment and management from the University of Dar es salaam.
His areas of specialization are on natural resources management, rural development and GIS
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