Site selection analysis for fish pond farming in Kafue district, Zambia: a multi-criteria evaluation approach.

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Siachinga, Muzamba Martha
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The University of Zambia
Aquaculture site selection involves the identification of areas that are economically, socially, and environmentally suitable and available for fish farming. Site selection using conventional method is rather inefficient because it is slow, financially costly and it covers a very small area. Due to inaccurate site selection, fish farmers face challenges such as water seepage, fish mortalities, poor aeration, and poor water quality. To overcome these challenges, a multi-criteria evaluation method is used to allocate aquaculture fish ponds to suitable locations. The advantage is not only in time and cost effectiveness but also in achieving an integrated treatment of aquaculture development criteria, which is difficult through conventional techniques alone. This study determined suitable sites for on-land aquaculture in Kafue district using multi-criteria evaluation approach. It specifically determined the criteria for selecting suitable fish pond sites and develops a suitability map showing fishpond sites. Data were collected through remote sensing, key informant interviews, and focus group discussion. The data sets used were Kafue DEM, soils, roads, slope, rivers and 2019 Landsat images. Key factors identified were land use/cover type, soil type, distance to roads and rivers, slope and elevation. Data were analysed using content analysis, Microsoft excel and ArcGIS 10.1. Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used for ranking and developing relative weights called priorities to differentiate the importance of the criteria using pairwise comparison. Consistency ratio of 0.027 was obtained which is less than 0.10 hence the results were reliable. After this procedure was done, findings show that the most important factor was land use/cover type (43%) and the least was slope (3%). Results show that of the total area (459,890 Ha) of the study area, highly suitable sites cover (10.99%), suitable sites (33%), moderately suitable sites (49%), constraint (7%) and not suitable sites (0.01%). The most suitable land use/cover type was cropland and grassland near the Kafue River. Sites close to roads and wetland were suitable because it is easy to access water and sell fish in good time since fish is a perishable good. The findings imply that aquaculture would greatly improve if sites are selected using MCE. Four points of each class from the final suitability model were compared with field data and found to be consistent. The study concludes that Site selection for aquaculture using Geographic Information System is accurate, quicker, cheaper and easier compared to conventional methods. The model can be used by fish farmers and stakeholders to make progressing decisions for their suitable site plan.
Thesis of Masters in Geo-information and Earth Observation Science.