Often times when opportunity strikes, many people fail to discern the moment and make very good use of it. Not with the Nkhwali family of Nancholi in Blantyre. When CCODE and the Federation announced of a training in Eco-San Technic construction, Julius Nkhwali did not hesitate to register as a trainee. Little did he know that that the skill would make him become one of the mot skilled, experienced and trusted Eco-San builders not only within the district but within the Federation builders across the country. Similarly between 2013-2014 when the organization was implementing a rental housing project and therefore needed to build the capacity of Federation women contractors/ construction facilitators, Mphatso Nkhwali the wife made sure that she takes part in the capacity building sessions and that she learns well, what it is to be a construction facilitator. Eleven and five years down the line the Nkhwalis are improving their livelihoods by facilitating and actually constructing Eco-San Toilets . These are Toilets being constructed to identified beneficiaries of the sanitation loans from the organization’s revolving fund and other households who privately sign contracts with the couple to construct for them a sanitation unit.
Julius is 45 years and his wife is 39. Together, they have five kids four of which are school going. Because the couple made very good use of capacity building initiatives in construction, they had positioned themselves to be partakers of the many Sanitation projects within CCODE. When the DESWOS project was introduced in Blantyre in June 2019, Julius and Mphatso were obviously going to be part of the process. They only needed refresher training in construction and the techniques of construction facilitating , respectively
The couple have been members of Federation since 2009 and since then they have 100 plus Eco-San toilets mobilized and constructed to their name. To date the couple have made a total of €3200.
For the DESWOS project alone, Mphatso has managed to facilitate the construction of a total of six Toilets earning her a total €71 . She continues to mobilize for more Toilet applications from her settlements and those surrounding. Julius has constructed 15 Toilets earning him the sum of €536. The income from Toiles con-struction continue to support them in providing for their household needs without huddles. They are also able to provide for their l fees and learning materials for their kids going to school.
Apart from constructing Ecosan Toilets, the couple are also involved in other income generating activities. Julius is also an experienced builder and constructs houses and other small household infrastructure whenever contracted to do so. Mphatso also sells vegetables .
The Nkhwalis are steadily improving their livelihoods and migrating from poverty with one Toilet constructed a day. They did not hesitate to learn skills which have become the an important source of their household in-come. The couple is an example of poor people who understand their needs and make use of every opportunity the get to build themselves up.Happiness Zidana | M&E officer CCODE Lilongwe office