Water Spout to Address Drought

Mr. Claudio Providas, UNDP Country Director and Domingos Pinto, Director General of the Ministry of Interior launched the water facility, Laga

Eugenia Maria Imaculada cheered as the national leaders symbolically inaugurated the new water facility in Binagua, Baucau Municipality. “Before, we had to walk for 1km to fetch water. We are very happy now because the water is very close to us. We don’t have to carry the heavy bucket of water for hours anymore,” said Eugenia.

Eugenia and other people in Binagua village faced water scarcity due to El Nino, the delays in the rainy season, which caused drought and negative impacts on livelihood.  Consequently, around 155 households in this village faced food scarcity, water stress, and death of livestock. To feed their families, they had to sell their remaining livestock to be able to buy food from the market.

In response to the trailing impacts of the El Nino phenomenon that occurred in 2015 and early 2016, government along with humanitarian agencies developed response and relief interventions. Realizing that there is a strong need to address the existing gap between relief, response and recovery and lack of linkage of these post disaster response mechanisms with the longer-term development goals, UNDP designed a project to support the livelihood component and to contribute towards longer-term recovery gains.

In this regard, the interventions and activities for this project were designed with the intension to collaborate with government initiatives and the results from the existing and pipeline collaborative assessments between the government and humanitarian agencies. Accordingly, a series of activities were undertaken through communities’ active engagement for the construction of the climate resilient water infrastructure under the technical supervision of the municipal engineers of the Ministry of Public works, Transport and Communication. After committed and collaborative construction work spanning four months the water facility was finally inaugurated on 24th of February 2016 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF).

These infrastructures are called, “low cost, high impact, climate resilient water infrastructures” and the name is true to the reality as testified by the way these infrastructures are helping transform the lives of the women and children in the village. “Water is our life. Due to El Nino, our water sources dried up. So, we built a very deep well last year but the water is not enough for the whole village,” said Sabino Martins, the Chief of Binagua village. “We are very happy that UNDP helped us build six water facilities in this village. Women and children in this village can access water right in the neighborhood. Thanks to UNDP and our government.”

UNDP Country Director, Claudio Providas was highly appreciative of the collaborative efforts that went into making this intervention a success. In his speech, he said, “We would like to praise the level of commitment we received from the Suco and community members. This project might not be big in terms of scale but in terms of showing what a joint effort can lead to, this project is definitely very important.”

The six water facilities in Binagua provide water to about 673 people in the village and other people from neighboring villages. Similar low cost, high impact climate resilient infrastructures were constructed and inaugurated in Daudo, Bobonaro, which provide clean water to about 700 people.

Highlights:

  • Due to El Nino, around 155 households in Binagua village faced food scarcity, water stress, and death of livestock.
  • A climate resilient water infrastructure was constructed through communities’ active engagement under the technical supervision of the municipal engineers of the Ministry of Public works, Transport and Communication.
  • The six water facilities in Binagua provide water to about 673 people in the village and other people from neighbouring villages