New water supply system bringing clean water to 1400 people in Lauala village

Mr. Haoliang Xu, the UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia Pacific, joined the inauguration of new water supply project at Lauala village. (Photo: Joanna Wong / UNDP Timor-Leste)

Ermera, 24 May 2017 – Around 100 people gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the new water supply system commissioned by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of State Administration (MSA) and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment (MCIE) and funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

“In the past, we used to go very far to get water, but now the clean water is near. We feel very happy that the authority has given us clean water,” said Ms. Bendita de Jesus Salsinha, one of the beneficiaries in the village. “In the past, we didn’t plant vegetables and we had to buy them because there was no water, now we are going to use the water to plant vegetables, to cook and drink.”

Lauala is one of villages in Ermera municipality that were identified as most vulnerable to climate induced natural disasters and has faced difficulties in accessing clean water.

“The presence of UNDP project has responded to our basic needs that we have been concerned about and suffered so much,” said Mr. Joao Salsinha da Cruz, Chief of Lauala village.

The people of Lauala can now access to clean water close to their homes and use it to benefit people and the planet. For example, Mr. Jose Martinho dos Santos, the President of Ermera Municipal said that clean water could minimize malnutrition problem. Thus, he urged the community in Lauala to take care of the maintenance of this water system.

Mr. Joao Araujo, Chief of Staff of MCIA also stated that “the water is here, community can use it for cooking.” He also encouraged the community to plant trees to make the suco green.

Through the construction of the water intake structure and 80m3 galvanized reservoir, installation of 6.5km of transmission and distribution pipelines, water is brought from reservoir to 16 public taps, providing clean and more efficient water supply for more than 1400 beneficiaries.

Highlighting the partnership between UNDP and the Government of Timor-Leste, Mr. Haoliang Xu, the UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia Pacific stated that this successful project was not done with support from UNDP, but in partnership with the government and importantly with the community.

“Many of these important consultations took place with the community, so I think that’s the main reason that this project is successful,” said Mr. Xu. “We hear from the Village Chief and the President of Ermera that more of such projects are needed, so we will work with the government very closely to see how lessons learnt here can be used in all other such projects.”

The water supply system was officially handed over to the village’s Facility Maintenance Groups (GMFs) that will be responsible for maintenance and operation of the system. UNDP’s SSRI Project is providing support to build their capacity.

“We will put our attention and thoughts so that this water can be sustained for community’s daily lives,” said Mr. Joao Salsinha da Cruz, Chief of Lauala village. “We will give our contribution together to maintain the water taps so that they may be used in long run.”

The new water supply system being installed in Lauala village is one of 11 water supply interventions provided by the UNDP SSRI Project between 2015 and 2017, contributing to the achievement of SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation.

Highlights:

  • Lauala is one of villages in Ermera municipality that were identified as most vulnerable to climate induced natural disasters and has faced difficulties in accessing clean water.
  • Through the partnership between UNDP and the government, the newly constructed water system is providing clean and more efficient water supply for more than 1400 beneficiaries. To build climate resilience, the reservoir is capable to address the community need of increasing water consumption when facing drought and climate change.
  • The project includes construction of the water intake structure and 80m3 galvanized reservoir, 16 public taps, and installation of 6.5km of transmission and distribution pipelines. The water is collected at the source, and then transmitted 3.75 km to the reservoir, and 2.75 km to the public taps.

More about SSRI project, click here