Land Use Dynamics and Wetland Management in Bamenda: Urban Development Policy Implications

  •  Balgah Sounders Nguh    
  •  Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi    


Wetland ecosystems in the world have been affected by changing land uses brought about by rapid urbanization. The thrust of this study therefore is to examine the trend of land use dynamics and their implications on wetland management. Using land use maps for two periods – 1984 and 2014, aided by the administration of 75 semi-structured questionnaires, we exploited the rate of change of land uses and their effects on wetland management as well as the urban development policy implications for Bamenda. A positive relationship (0.5) was observed for land use change and wetland degradation. Furthermore, the results from land use analysis showed that between 1984 and 2014, significant changes were observed for residential land use which increased in surface area from 42% as of 1984 to 53% in 2014. In addition, agricultural land use increased from 11% to 34%. Conversely, the surface area covered by wetlands reduced from 27% in 1984 to 6% in 2014. The conclusion drawn is that in the face of further wetland degradation, the current trend of land use dynamics can be checked by the application of zoning laws to control the changes witnessed in the land uses (residential and agricultural land uses). In addition, the Bamenda City Council should promote public awareness through sensitization on wetland resources and should actively encourage the participation of the public, local government authorities and institutions in sustainably managing wetlands. 

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