Land use/land cover dynamics and their impact on pastoralism: a case study of Melela ward, Mvomero district, Morogoro Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Sokoine University of Agriculture


Studies which have been conducted so far have focused on the processes of land use/land cover changes in different areas at regional and global levels. Not much has been done to quantify the factors that influence land use/land cover dynamics in Melela ward, Mvomero District, Morogoro, Tanzania. The main objective of the current study was to evaluate land use land cover dynamics and their impacts on pastoralism in Melela. Specifically, the study examined land use/land cover dynamics for the period from 1991 to 2016, to identify socio-economic factors that influence land use/land cover dynamics and to determine the effects of land use/land cover dynamics on pastoral community livelihood and production potential. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were used for data collection and change detection analysis was employed to assess the spatial and temporal land use/land cover change of the study area. Quantitative methods including descriptive statistics was used for analysis of social economic drivers and its impacts on pastoral community livelihood and production potential. The results were the matrices and the categories of land use/land cover changes. The study findings indicate a significant change in LULC as evidenced by an increase in agriculture and a loss of woodland. The period 2000-2016 has shown gains in agriculture and losses of woodland areas. Changes in the crops grown, increased immigration of pastoralists, population growth, charcoal burning, and livestock keeping have contributed to an overuse of the existing land resources, which resulted in significant variations in the spatio - temporal patterns of land use. The assessment of changes in the grazing land in Melela has shown that the current patterns would increase the population of pastoralists in the region, through an increase of immigrants among the pastoralists and grazing pressure. The results of this study quantify dynamics of land use/land cover and its drivers on sustainable use of land. In the face of increasing population size, pastoralism, and charcoal burning, there is need of maintaining a balance for socio- economic drivers and sustainable utilization of land use.


Masters Thesis


Land use, Land cover dynamics, Land cover, Pastoralism, Melela ward, Mvomero district, Morogoro, Tanzania