This study was aimed at examining land cover changes for
the last 35 years and its causative factors in Gilgel Abbay watershed by using
GIS and remote sensing, survey and population data.The land use and
cover changes study will help to apply the appropriate land use. The land
cover/use status for the years 1973, 1986, 1995 and 2008 were examined using
land sat images. The changes in different land cover units such as forest, wood
and bush lands, grass, wetlands and water bodies, and farm and settlements were
analyzed. Population change, tenure, poverty and lack of market and credit
facilities in the watershed area were analyzed as causes of land cover changes.
The results of the study have shown that during the last 35 years forest, grass
lands, wetlands and lake areas were converted to farm and settlement areas.
There was rapid increase of population with growth rates of 4.9% and 3.5%
(1984-1994 and 1994-2007), respectively per annum which caused more land cover
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