UNDP and GoTL is improving access to water for people in El-Niño effected areas

UNDP Timor-Leste
Ceremony at water source in suco Daudo, Bobonaro

Bobonaro, 26 October 2016, the United National Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) launched the construction of climate resilient water infrastructure for community in Daudo, Cailaco, Bobonaro municipality who are currently living under water stressed conditions.

Daudo village was selected for the water access improvement intervention based on the impact of El Niño on the water access conditions, existing water access situation and national priority indicated by the assessments conducted by the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Currently, the people of Daudo have to walk around 2.6km to collect water from the water source. There is traditional water pipe (bamboo) used by the community to distribute water but this traditional water distribution system can cover only few households. Already challenging water conditions have been aggravated further by the prolonged dry periods triggered by El Niño which caused loss in the agricultural productivity and livestock.

“We are very happy because for long time since Indonesian occupation, we did not have proper access to water but finally these installations in these two aldeias (sub-villages) will improve access to water,” said Agapito S. Loe, Head of Daudo Village.

Highlight

  • UNDP & MoI launched the construction of climate resilient water infrastructure for community in Daudo and Binagua.
  • El Niño which causes loss in the agricultural productivity and livestock is effecting those areas.
  • Community members will commence construction of these low cost, high impact, climate resilient water infrastructures, and water improvement systems would be inaugurated by end of this year.

The launching took place in the main Water Source following traditional rituals of getting permission from ancestors by offering animal sacrifices. It is believed that these rituals will appease the ancestors and hence will garner blessing for auspicious start and successful operation of the water system.  It is expected that the water infrastructure will bring clean water closer to the people.

Other places in Timor-Leste are also facing water scarcity. Binugua village, Suco Samalari in Baucau municipality is one of these places. The community of Binugua are facing water crisis due to dysfunctional water supply system, which was originally built in 2004 by sourcing water from a water source located 3 kilometers away from the community because of which women and children are compelled to spend at least 45 minutes to one-hour every time they go to fetch water. UNDP and the Government of Timor-Leste has just launched the construction of climate resilient water infrastructure on 30 October which is expected to improve community’s access to clean water.

The construction will be done through the community engagement under the supervision of SAS (engineering division under the Ministry of Public works, Transport and Communication) engineer and will follow “cash-for-work” model. It is a result of joint efforts led by Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Solidarity and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with technical and financial assistance from UNDP.

“This project demonstrates that through active engagement and contribution, climate vulnerable communities under the guidance of the government and authorities can recover from climate induced disasters and can build their resilience.” said Shanti Karanjit, UNDP Climate Change Adviser “Of course, this project alone cannot solve all the water related problems in Binagua but we believe it will help the women and children in many ways – as it will improve access to water and will save your time that you spend fetching water and doing household chores.”

Credit for the successful launching goes to the exemplary coordination and collaboration between KONSSANTIL members, UNDP, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Solidarity, Ministry of Public Works, and Ministry of State Administration, PNDS Program and the dedication of the suco council and community members. The launching was also feats as upshot of relationship between the Ministry of Ministry of Interior and the United Nations Development Programme, Timor-Leste.

On the footsteps of launching in Daudo and Binagua, community members will commence construction of these low cost, high impact, climate resilient water infrastructures. Ministry of Social Solidarity is partnering in transporting construction material to the construction site, SAS engineers are supervising the community members alongside UNDP rural infrastructure engineers and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is providing seedlings for bioengineering purposes. Through these two projects, we would like to demonstrate that a well-coordinated effort led by the national authorities and reflected at the sub-national level coupled with strong community engagement can contribute to resilience building. It is estimated that these water improvement systems would be inaugurated by end of this year – a unique Christmas Gift by the people for the people!

 

For more information please contact Jose Belo, ACD/Head of RBU UNDP-Timor Leste, tel 7723 1013 and email: jose.belo@undp.org