Female Commune Leader is a Sanitation Champion
Mrs. Eng is the leader of the Sokong commune which is situated along the Mekong River in Kong Meas district, Kampong Cham province.
As commune leader, Mrs. Eng promotes and supports good governance in her commune and helps with the management and use of existing resources in a sustainable way while also serving the common interests of the local community. Prior to becoming a commune leader, Mrs. Eng was an active commune council member tending to the women-focused social affairs of the commune.
Working to Eliminate Open Defecation
Mrs. Eng plays a variety of roles in championing Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), a process that aims to bring about community-wide behavior change for sanitation and hygiene practices in order to eliminate open defecation. Her goal is to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in all the villages in her authority area and she is currently engaged in activities designed to inspire her 9 commune council members, 11 village chiefs, and her village development committees.
Mrs. Eng is already close to acheiving her objective. Working with local non-governmental organization Rain Water Cambodia, she has set an objective to become the first completely ODF commune in her district. Currently, 2 out of the 11 villages under her jurisdiction have already achieved this status.
Active Community Involvement Leads to Change
Working towards her goal, she is actively involved in the community triggering process for CLTS. Working alongside sub-grantee field staff, she has set up mechanisms for monitoring progress towards ODF status and works to enforce the implementation of sanitation in her commune. She regularly attends meetings with commune councils and village chiefs and raises as an agenda the progress, challenges, solutions, and local plans for sanitation and hygiene.
Mrs. Eng makes it a habit to incorporate hygiene and santiation topics when speaking with community members and uses this insight when working with her commune council members to determine the commune priorities in the 5-year Commune Development Plans.
“In order to support my roles to be more effective in promoting improved sanitation and hygiene, I would request civil society organizations to build up the capacity of my commune council members on sustained behavior change and continue to support funding to do other campaigns related to hygiene and sanitation in my commune," she has said.
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