The life of a Community Champion
By Maswabi Precious Matantilo on March 30, 2015 in News, Water and Sanitation Health
Justine Mwape is one of the most hardworking Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) volunteers in the Serenje District of Central Province. He led Kabamba ward to end open defecation in 2014 when he was serving there as a Community Champion. His journey was not so smooth as he had to work as the only Champion in the area for some time after his co-champion left. He had to supervise about 51 sparsely populated villages alone. This did not limit him as he decided to put in some extra hours to ensure adequate sanitation in his area of operation. Mwape became a Champion soon after the CLTS programme was introduced to the area in 2013. He describes community work as an inborn thing, something that comes naturally and enables him to thrive with ease even in challenging situations.
Asked how he was able to lead the ward to stop open defecation, he stated that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Chief Kabamba and Akros were very instrumental in helping him facilitate the change. He further stated that his vast prior experience in community work instilled some skills that he used in the CLTS programme such as team building, facilitation and conflict management.