Analysis of Selected Factors Supporting Urban Sprawl Patterns Using Analytical Hierarchy Process Model: A Case Study of Areas Surrounding Eldoret Town, Kenya
Eldoret town is currently experiencing rapid urban growth in all directions exerting great pressure on biophysical and socio-economic environments. This is evidenced by fertile agricultural land being converted into patches of built-up areas which could lead to a decline in food production in a region that has been for a long time known as the grain basket of Kenya. This study analyzed selected factors supporting urban growth around Eldoret town using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) model. A total of eight independent variables: five connectivity factors namely distances to nearest roads, powerline, water line, employment centers and restricted areas; two physical factors namely; slope and elevation and one socio-economic factor namely; population density were applied in this model in order to rank them since all factors don’t contribute equally to sprawling patterns. Results showed that distances to roads, powerline and water line had the highest AHP weights of 27.93%, 17.37% and 17.08% respectively and were the most significant supporting factors driving urban sprawl around Eldoret town. Physical factors of slope and elevation were the least driving factors with each having an AHP weight of 4.94%. It is recommended that Uasin Gishu County government should give priorities to roads, power and waterlines in areas planned for urban development to control sprawl patterns.