The study of land use changes in urban fringes of Kenya using remote sensing and geographic information system: a case study of north Kaputei, Kajiado District
North Kaputei is a rapidly changing area in Kitengela location of Kajiado district. Located about 30kms southeast of Nairobi city, the area has experienced a lot of physical growth, which can be attributed to its close proximity to the capital city of Nairobi. Its land use development is characterized by the extensive residential and commercial activities in contrast to the rural characteristic which it had exhibited. The land use activities have taken place in a comparatively high rate over the last twenty years thus overshadowing the administrative and planning efforts of the area. This study was set out to examine the nature and trend of land use changes in North Kaputei focusing on the socio-economic factors influencing land use changes such as .. rampant subdivision, cheap housing, low land values and other factors with their subsequent impacts were also examined. The study's objectives were therefore to: examine the nature and trend of land use changes in North Kaputei over the past twenty years; Examine the range of data needed to monitor land use changes; examine the current methods and technologies for geo-data gathering, analysis and information management and assess their deficiencies in the study area; and finally to investigate the potential role of applying GIS and RS techniques in geo-data acquisition, processing, analysis and information management for effective land use management as compared to the existing conventional methods in the area. The study hypothesized that lack of up-to-date, reliable and readily available land related data and information management contribute to haphazard land use development with the current methods of gathering and analyzing land use changes being inefficient and inadequate for monitoring and managing land use changes in North Kaputei. The methodology adopted involved the visual digital interpretation of land use according to the land use classification from satellite images for the year 1987, 1995 and 2000. Subsequently land use maps were crossed with each other to identify and quantify the pattern of land use changes using GIS tool. T4~ study also employed primary and secondary methods of data collection for qualitative and quantitative data.