PERCEPTION ON BIOPHYSICAL COMPONENTS OF KIT‐MIKAYI SITE FOR CULTURAL LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
Keywords:conservation, cultural landscape, ecotourism, geomorphological features, Kit‐Mikayi.
Customs and traditions of cultural landmarks which kept the landmarks’ memory alive through time have been eroded by infiltration of western culture, modernism and population increase. Kit‐Mikayi is a cultural landscape regarded as sacred by the local community and one of the major potential tourist attraction destinations in Nyanza Province, western part of Kenya. Despite the sites’ unique geomorphology and appreciation of its other natural components, little objective information is available about the inherent landscape and associated cultural values. Besides, no study has been conducted on visual quality assessment to examine the inherent and associative values of Kit‐Mikayi, for understanding landscape qualities for protection and sustainable conservation. The objective of this study was to investigate the major landmarks and environmental aesthetic value of Kit‐Mikayi cultural site. The study involved identification of biophysical elements at the site and assessment of the community’s perception and judgement. The study employed survey research design, questionnaires and observations through eight photographic records taken at sixty three (63) selected sites representing different features. The results show that biophysical components associated with the site were major landmarks. The respondents perceived the site for ecotourism with median of four for conservation. The findings shows that the highest median was three on naturalness, Kruskal Wallis test showed high significance difference (p<0.0001) amongst respondents perception who preferred the site to remain natural for diversification in utilization of the resources to avoid overdependence.