Skip to main content

Land use and land cover in communities along the Bons Sinais estuary, Mozambique

Cite this dataset

Costa, Eudriano; Leitão, Francisco (2022). Land use and land cover in communities along the Bons Sinais estuary, Mozambique [Dataset]. Dryad.


The Bons Sinais estuary (BSE) is one of the most important estuaries in the central region of the Mozambican coast. The BSE plays an important role as main source of food and income for many people living along the estuary. The present data contain information on the land use and cover of eight communities located along the Bons Sinais estuary, Mozambique, over the time period 2019-2020. The dataset was created by drawing shape files over high-resolution satellite imagens obtained from Bing and Google Satellites.  All images were analysed using QGIS software. A total of 101 shapefiles were created. These files will help local managers and researchers to better understand the human use of the natural resources and landscape, as well as to predict impacts of the community’s growth on natural resources in the BSE.


High resolution satellite images of the BSE and eight communities (Inhangome, Chuabo Dembe, Icídua, Mirazane, Nhangulue, Gazelas, Marrubune and Irregone) were imported from Bing and Google satellites into QGIS 3.10 “A Coruña” software, using the QuickMapServices plugin (version 2). The following features: base map of the BSE, artisanal fishing harbours, roads, rivers and channels, residences, abandoned/inactive aquaculture ponds, active aquaculture ponds, sandbanks, agriculture land, flood area, mangroves and mixed forest were manually drawn within a circular area of 8.6 km2. This area was defined based on the size of each community, considering the distance among them. The data is compiled in shapefiles (.shp, shx, .qpj, .prj, .dbf) for each feature measured. In addition, a comma-separated values (csv) file containing details on each feature and two PDFs with data description, as well as a map plotted using the data enclosed are included in this dataset.

Usage notes

Files containing Geographic Information Systems data can be opened using GIS software such as QGIS and ArcGIS. 

Minor discrepancies or some minor gaps may arise from manual vectorization process. 


This work was supported by Project BIOFISH-QoL: An integrative approach to improving the quality of life in the fishing communities of the “Bons Sinais” estuary (Mozambique), funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT I.P.) and Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)., Award: Reference Proposal: 330785505