Community based ecotourism management practise, a panacea for sustainable rural development in Liberia.
Ecotourism practise is a sustainable management tool targeted at improving livelihood and wellbeing of the rural populace. This paper examined the roles Kpatawee Citizen Community Organisation (KCCO),is playing in the management of Kpatawee water fall, Suakoko District, Bong County, Liberia. Multiple research techniques employed for this study include Focus Group Discussion, House hold questionnaire survey and field observation. Three Sustainable Development Indicators (SDI) selected to assess the impacts of Community Based Ecotourism Management Practise (CBEMP)on the four selected rural communities include level of income, social capital and infrastructural facilities. Demographic characteristics of the respondents were descriptively analysed while income levels were subjected to ANOVA. Multiple effects of ecotourism practise are observed to be very low; there is significant difference in income of inhabitants in the communities at P≤ 0.005. F (3, 78)=4.615 and result of post –hoc multiple comparisons revealed that income level of inhabitants of Dumai community is significantly different from others. Proportion of the population having access to infrastructural facilities is low (5-10%). Low rate of intentional homicides and crimes (4%) are indications of improve social capital in the communities. Part of the proceeds attracted to the waterfall is used to improve the health facilities in the communities and maintain the aesthetic values of the waterfall. CBEMP has brought changes in land use pattern and management of the waterfall. The need for improvement in the provision of infrastructural facilities and interpersonal relationship between individuals and KCCO are emphasized taking into considerationlimitations of the local communities.
Keywords: Ecotourism practise, sustainable development, rural communities, multiple research techniques