FACTORS INFLUENCING CONSERVATION OF LAKE VICTORIA BEACHES IN KISUMU EAST DISTRICTKISUMU COUNTY
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In recent times, it has been increasingly acknowledged that healthy ecosystems and
biodiversity are extremely critical to vital functioning of communities living around Lake
Victoria especially the 1600 beaches (fish landing sites) that dot its shoreline. Significantly,
healthy ecosystems provide a myriad of economic, socio- cultural and ecological benefits as
well as goods and services that underpin various industries and by extension, the human wellbeing.
This notwithstanding, Lake Victoria as a natural resource has faced degradation in
recent times. Similarly, rapid degradation of ecological forest and biodiversity has
exacerbated poverty in the shores of the lake with an estimated 50 per cent of the local
population living below the poverty line. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to
investigate factors influencing conservation of Lake Victoria Beaches in Kisumu East District
and establish the factors that greatly influence the conservation of Lake Victoria beaches in
Kisumu East District to enable intensive conservation of the same. The study was localized at
Lwang’ni, Kichinjio, Dunga and Usoma Beaches around Kisumu city because these
communities border Lake Victoria and their livelihood is dependent on this Lake. The study
was guided by the cultural theory of Thompson et al which aimed at giving a description of
the relationship between natural and human systems both at individual and society levels. The
study adopted a descriptive survey design and both quantitative and qualitative techniques
were used to collect and analyze data to establish major factors influencing the conservation
of beaches in Kisumu East District. This design was useful in capturing past experiences to
inform the current state of affairs. The study had a target population of 3000 people either
living or visiting the studied beaches. The study used the sample of Krejce and Morgan
(1970) where a sample of 341 is considered appropriate for a population of 3000. Due to
projected questionnaire return failure the researcher decided to sample more respondents of
360 to cushion this eventuality. The study got the proportionate sample of various target
groups by dividing the group sample by the target population and then multiplying the
outcome with the study sample size. The collected data was coded and entered through
Access 2007 to create a database for easier analysis. The study used Statistical Analysis
software (SAS) for quantitative analysis because it was easier to code and provided a highly
summarized and user friendly data output. Frequencies and percentages were arrived at after
the analysis. Based on the objectives of the study, it was established that fishing is the
economic factor that mostly affects the conservation of lake Victoria beaches at 57.94%. The
respondents rated education as one of the socio cultural practices that to a large extent
impacts on beach conservation at 34.26%. The factor rated as having none effect is religion at
28.13%. 56.04% felt that the government and NGO agencies had succeeded in Lake Victoria
beach conservation to a moderate extent. Observation was also used to beef up the
quantitative findings of the study. Fishing activities, waste disposal mechanisms and
intervention by Government agencies were established by this study as the main factors
influencing the conservation of Lake Victoria beaches in Kisumu East District and thus the
study recommended that environmental education should be given to both beach residents and
visitors with a deliberate bias on the youth who constitute a bigger percentage of the target
population.