The Open Environmental Engineering Journal




(Discontinued)

ISSN: 1874-8295 ― Volume 7, 2014

Assessing the Challenge of Settlement in Budalangi and Yala Swamp Area in Western Kenya Using Landsat Satellite Imagery


The Open Environmental Engineering Journal, 2011, 4: 97-104

Simon M. Onywere, Zachary M. Getenga, Shadrack S. Mwakalila, Charles K. Twesigye

Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844 00100 Nairobi, Kenya.

Electronic publication date 16/9/2011
[DOI: 10.2174/1874829501104010097]




Abstract:

The Budalangi area of Kenya exhibits high levels of rural poverty despite its natural resources potential and favourable climate. The area was mapped using multi-temporal remote sensing image data from 1973 to 2009 and participatory data collection. Floods are a recurrent environmental hazard and impede access to environmental resources and agricultural production. The physical setting of Budalangi at the floodplain of Nzoia River and increased runoff from degraded catchments are contributory factors to the flooding. Floods lead to disruption of human settlements and destruction of crops, shelter, dykes and infrastructural facilities. Disease outbreaks also increase due to destruction of sanitation facilities and relocation of settlements in makeshift camps. This implies that the policy measures that have been instituted by the government to mitigate the problem have had dismal impact in the Budalangi and Yala Swamp area. The degradation of the catchment is reflected in its sediment loading and deposition into Lake Victoria which has seen the morphology of the coastline at the mouth of Nzoia River and the aerial coverage by water in the lake change over the years. The overall loss in the area under Yala Swamp is 54 Km2 from 186 Km2 in 1973 to 132 Km2 in 2009. The encroachment has significant implication on the wellbeing of the Yala Swamp and the Nzoia Floodplain ecosystem. The study therefore underscores the need to evolve an integrated watershed management plan for effective management of Budalangi and Yala Swamp area and the region in general.


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