Rope pump brings water to people of Duyung

Paul Tyndale, UNDP SERC project manager, demonstrates the new rope pump to community members in Duyung
Paul Tyndale, UNDP SERC project manager, demonstrates the new rope pump to community members in Duyung. Photo UNDP TL Crisis Prevention and Recovery

Metinaro – “To get water has always been a struggle here in our village,” says Augusto Soares Correia, a farmer and father of five, from Metinaro, an hour south of the capital Dili. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

“We managed to dig wells but it was still a lot of work to bring the water up using just buckets, apart from the fact that it was also unsafe for our children,” he says.

With UNDP support, in Noveber 2010 a rope pump was installed right behind Augusto’s house in the village of Duying, Metinaro.

Highlights

  • UNDP's Strengthening Early Recovery for Comprehensive and Sustainable Reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (SERC) project, assists with participatory planning and implementing community infrastructure projects in areas where there has been conflict.
  • Since 2010, a total of 10 community infrastructure projects have been completed and handed over to communities.

“Today we feel relieved that we have access to water and the youngsters can play around the wells without being injured,” he says.

Since a nearby camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) was closed in 2009, 50 former camp residents returned to the Duyung community, causing tensions over access to water.

The new well will now provide clean water to more than 3,000 local residents, including the former IDPs.

A UNDP project, which is implemented jointly with the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS), conducted a field demonstration of the new pump for the National Directorate of Water and Sanitation, UN agencies and national and international NGOs on 23 November.  

The Strengthening Early Recovery for Comprehensive and Sustainable Reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (SERC) project assists with participatory planning and implementation of basic community infrastructure projects in areas where there has been conflict.

The infrastructure projects are designed to improve cohesion within communities, by ensuring everyone benefits from the new piece of infrastructure.

In Duyung, the community asked for clean water.

The SERC project facilitated the construction of shallow wells fitted with rope pumps, in order to ensure a supply of clean water which will be sustainable.

By closing the well and fitting the pump, the water in the well is protected from contamination and so continues to be safe to drink.

“The Rope Pump is a new type of pump in Timor Leste which has a lot of potential for use in rural communities,” explains Paul Tyndale, UNDP SERC project manager.

“It consists of a continuous length of rope onto which are threaded rubber washers every metre, held in place with knots,” he says.

“The rope goes through a guide box at the bottom of the well and over a wheel at the top. As the wheel is turned the washers bring water to the surface through a PVC pipe. These can be made and maintained locally, and require no spare parts from overseas.”

The rope pump was originally developed in Latin America, where thousands have been installed.

Since the beginning of 2010, a total of 10 projects have been completed by SERC and MSS and handed over to the communities.

This new rope pump directly addresses Millennium Development Goal 7, to ensure environmental sustainability.

UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, AusAID and the United Nations Peace Building Fund currently fund the SERC project.



Contact UNDP in Timor-Leste

Media inquiries:
Jeanne Finestone, Results Management, Communications and Partnerships Officer

Phone: (+670) 7732 7211
jeanne.finestone@undp.org