Assessment of Land Cover Change in the North Eastern Nigeria 1986 to 2005

Samuel Garba, Tim Brewer


Environmental disturbance such as drought, overgrazing, and increase in population in north eastern Nigeria over the years has led to degradation, shortage of land and water resources and sometimes violent conflict among communities. Land cover change provides a vital means of understanding and managing these problems. Thus this research provided an assessment of how tree, shrub grass, bare ground and urban land cover changed from 1986 to 2005. NigeriaSat-1 and Landsat images were used with data obtained from field survey for the land cover classifications. Change in the land covers were analysed according to persistence, swapping, net loss and gain. Uncertainties were analysed by confusion matrices. The overall accuracies of the classifications used for the analysis are between 60% and 75%. The transition and change accuracies are between 45% and 60%. Approximately 60% of the area of study remained unchanged during the period. Of the remainder, approximately 11% of the area interchanged between shrub grass and bare ground. The most unstable category was shrub grass and was also the source of misclassification. The changes in general concurred with the perception of change in the area and gave some insight on the change that occurred.

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)  Email:

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