African Emerging Small Towns: Assessing The Changing Environment Due To Urban Growth


Geomatics for Africa

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Felicia Akinyemi, Rwanda,
Jean Marie Nzakamwita, University of Rwanda, Rwana,


Urban growth can have positive effects if well managed or negative impacts in instances of uncontrolled urban expansion. Often, land management regulations are employed in urban areas to ensure that land is efficiently planned and managed to achieve sustainable land management. This study examines the changing landscape of Kabuga town, Rwanda due to land use conversion.

Data was obtained from 107 respondents and interviews with the local authorities in charge of urban planning. Variables examined include migration, the means of acquiring land, land use (initial use of land and current use of land) while driving factors of land use conversion were also identified. The challenges of urban growth in Kabuga and the implications for proper land management are examined. Results reveal that 6% of the population lived in Kabuga before 1994 and the remaining 94% are migrants; 55% came within the period 1994-2005, 29% came during 2006-2012 and 10% came after 2012 implying that residents are predominantly migrants. The analysis finds evidence of diminishing agricultural and forested land and vacant lands in favour of residential area and commercial activities due to influx of people. Major impacts of this changing environment in Kabuga town are overcrowding, pollution and loss of green spaces.

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