Mateus Salvador: “Now, we are not worry anymore about floods…”

Flood protection wall to protect people of Lisadila village from floods inaugurated by Minister Deonisio Babo and UNDP Representative Jose Belo. Photo: UNDP Timot-Leste

“In 2008, there was flooding. It washed away our stuff such as corn, cassava including our pets. Our houses were almost carried away by floods.” said Manuel Soares (45), a father of three kids who live in Lisadilla village.

Highlights

  • Almost every year, the people of Lisadilla have to face floods because the river which is located nearby overflows the adjacent flat land.
  • The Disaster Risk and Hazard Map Analysis conducted in January 2010 revealed that flooding in Timor-Leste occurs as flash-flooding.
  • The combination of physical infrastructure with bio-engineering initiatives (vegetation) is a great method to enhance the resilience of infrastructure projects.

 

The Disaster Risk and Hazard Map Analysis conducted by UNDP in January 2010 revealed that flooding in Timor-Leste occurs as flash-flooding when heavy seasonal rain higher in catchment basins converges in tributaries as it descends, resulting in rapid rise of discharge in the water courses. Lissadilla is one of the places most at risk of flash-flooding.

 

“Since 2009, in the period of intense rainfall, community houses, farms and public utilities and facilities were severely affected.” said Mr. Ancelmo Fernandes, the Chief of Lissadilla village.

 

Almost every year, the people of Lisadilla have to face floods because the river which is located nearby overflows the adjacent flat land. As there is no river protection (gabion) to protect the community from the water stream, UNDP and the Ministry of State Administration through the Small Scale Rural Infrastructure (SSRI) project recently constructed a 435 meters of gabion.

 

The project also engaged local NGO in watershed management initiatives and in particular using bio-engineering techniques such as planting vetiver grass and live stakes along the river embankment for complementary protection and preventing erosion.

 

“Now, we feel more secure, even though we still a bit worry that water could come from the riverbanks up there (pointing to the parts without gabion) because the gabion constructed is a few hundred and something meters only.” said Manuel.

 

At the inauguration ceremony held on the 11th of March, H.E. Mr. Dionizio Babo, Coordinating Minister for Justice and Minister of State Administration encouraged the community to protect the planted plants in order to prevent erosion and floods.

 

On the same occasion, the community explained that since the construction of river protection, there has been considerable improvement to their livelihood because of protection from the floods. Having seen the positive impacts, they also recommended similar future intervention for neighboring aldeias (Villages).

 

“Now, we are not worry anymore about floods because the gabion can protect us.” said Mr. Mateus Salvador, a Teacher of a Primary School located near the river. “This should be implemented in other villages too.”

 

According to Mr. Rawleston Moore, GEF Project Manager who visited the village on March 19, 2016, it was noted that the combination of physical infrastructure with bio-engineering initiatives (vegetation) is a great method to enhance the resilience of infrastructure projects such as these in respect of climate events and also contributing to the overall improvement in rural livelihood.

 

The river protection project in Lisadilla, Liquica Municipality is one of the 10 rural infrastructure projects implemented by the UNDP SSRI project in 2015 with funding support from GEF. This project contributes to strengthening administrative capacity, accountability and public participation at the local level to help ensure that climate risks considerations are mainstreamed in the planning, budgeting and decision-making processes at both national and sub-national levels.

 

This project also helps to ensure that future small scale rural infrastructure development projects, essential for rural livelihood, are designed and constructed taking into consideration related climate risks.

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Timor-Leste 
Go to UNDP Global