Sustainable land restoration requires a powerful and adaptable system that is able to capture local community views in decision making process. Participatory GIS was employed in analyzing LULCC in Rusinga Island. Data was collected in Rusinga West and Rusinga East location. Resource mapping exercise was undertaken during FGDs consisting of 12 members per location with good knowledge of LULCC. The participant represented graphically the perceived changes that occurred in 1978, 1998 and 2019. Common LULC identified were forestland, croplands, settlement, grazing and bare areas. Photograph of the mental maps was taken using digital camera and digitized in Arc Map 10.7.1. Feature recorded on the maps were taken using a GPS and used for geo-referencing and assisted in the analysis. Results showed significant changes (P<0.05) under settlement and forest in Rusinga West while significant changes occurred in forest, bare areas and settlement in Rusinga East between the years 1978 and 2019. This study revealed the importance of local community knowledge of both spatial and temporal changes occurring within their territories. Participatory GIS can be adopted by the County government in involving the local community because it’s a valuable approach.
Keywords: Land use and land cover change, PGIS, Rusinga Island