Spatial assessment of urban sprawl in Arua Municipality, Uganda

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The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Science


Arua Municipality is one of the regional municipalities that has been earmarked for transformation to city status. Its population has been growing at rate of 3% per annum 1% higher than the capital, Kampala. Urbanisation provides economic opportunities. However, it also lead to emergence of unplanned urban settlements and urban sprawl. This paper applied remote sensing and geographical information system techniques to map land cover changes from 2001 to 2016, quantify urban sprawl within the period and estimate the urban growth pattern up to 2031. TerrSet’s Land Change Modeller has been used to model the urbanisation and Markov Chain matrices used to predict future changes in the urban composition. Land cover classification accuracy of 85% in 2001, 84% in 2010 and 89.2% in 2016 were obtained. From 2001 to 2016, the four land cover types considered, contributed a total of 11.5% to the composition of built-up area with agricultural land cover type contributing the most at 7.4%. Results of urbanisation analyses indicated that in 2001, 18.2% of the total area were built-up. This increased to 28.8% in 2010 and 40.9% in 2016. Urbanisation is predicted to increase to 57.4% by the year 2031. This prediction indicates that agricultural land cover will be most negatively affected at _10% loss rate while built-up areas will increase by 6%. While urbanisation continues to increase at this rate, the municipal authority must implement sustainable measures to protect agricultural lands and ecosystems against the land consuming urbanisation.



Remote sensing, GIS, Markov Chain, Urban sprawl


Abudu, D., Echima, R. A., & Andogah, G. (2019). Spatial assessment of urban sprawl in Arua Municipality, Uganda. The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Science, 22(3), 315-322.