Land use/land cover change is a general term for the modification and conversion of the earth’s surface by human and natural factors. Land cover is the physical and biological cover of the surface. Land use covers the results of human activities for the exploitation of it. The objective of this study was to detect land cover/use changes in Andasa Watershed between the years 1995 to 2015. The study has used ArcGIS10.1 and ERDAS IMAGINE 2010, land sat images of 1995 and 2015 and socio-economic data to analyze land cover and landuse changes of Andasa watershed. The study has found that due to the population increase and improper agricultural activity forest and bush lands have declined whereas farm and bare lands expanded between the study years. Forest land and shrub land jointly decreased by 14349.23 hectare which is 23.87% of the total watershed area, whereas, cultivated land and bare land jointly increased by16010.32 hectare of land which is 26.63% of the total watershed area between the study periods, respectively. The rapid expansion of croplands and bare lands were entirely attributed to the alarming rate of depletion of forests, woods and shrubs. There is an urgent need to limit the population growth rate and implementing appropriate land use policy in the Andasa watershed.
Key words: Andasa watershed, land use land cover, landsat image.
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