On May 8th to 10th, 2019, The Ministry of State Administration, Secretary of State Civil Protection and UNDP Timor-Leste conducted three days of Joint project Monitoring with UNDP-Dili to Ainaro Road Development Corridor to strengthen community resilience in municipalities of Ermera, Aileu, Manufahi and Ermera. The purpose of the joint monitoring was to assess the progress of each project from 2018-2019 and how they have furthered the community’s resilience and sustainability.
The delegation visited 9 project sites across Ermera, Aileu, Manufahi and Ainaro. This included; Tibar Main Bamboo Processing Center and Bamboo Group in Ermera-Gleno , Clean Water project in Poetete, Womens Femikultura Community Group in Aileu, Moris Foun Horticulture Group in Ainaro, Afforestration and Agroforestry in Aituto, Irrigation system in Manutaci, Clean water system in Sabago, Women sowing group in Ainaro and a womens handicraft group in Betano. The delegation also inaugurated three water-based projects which included a clean water supply and community swimming pool in suco Holarua and the inauguration of an irrigation system in suco Fahiria.
The Dili to Ainaro Road Corridor presents many challenges and risks to vulnerable communities due it its mountainous terrain, flooding, landslides, heavy rainfall, fires and gusty winds. To protect the infrastructure and reduce disaster risks, the UNDP- DADRC project has provided community grants to help build community resilience and encourage a community-based approach, allowing the people of the sucos the opportunity to take full ownership for the management, maintenance and sustainability of the projects. As a result, this has added value to the community with more than 25,000 people having benefited from 4 districts. For example, the sowing group of women in Ainaro Villa were provided a grant of USD $1,200 which has enabled them to generate a cash group of USD $8,700. Additionally, the community swimming pool in suco Holarua has spurred market development allowing members of different municipalities to use the pool and sell products more easily. In Ermera-Gleno the Bamboo Processing Center has too succeed from the community-based approach with 9 sites established and generating an income of $2,000 per month from each site.
Throughout the visits, many members of the community spoke about the sustainability and benefits these projects have produced to them, In particular, Mr. João Cortereal, chief of village Holarua stated “This water supply will benefit two aldeias in Suco Holarua. I hope this project will replicated to other aldeias that faces same problems”
Felisberto das Neves, Chief of village Poetete, Municipality of Ermera voiced “We are happy with this project. The whole process had involved us in planning, design and implementation. We felt owned of this project and wants this kind of modality can replicated in other Sucos”
As a result, a total of 38 community groups have received grants to increase their household income and sustain their livelihood through initiatives such as sewing, fish Farming, poultry farming, brick production, bamboo nursery and plantation, gabions construction, corn and long bean farming, carpentry, handcraft and a community swimming pool construction. Undoubtedly, the project will benefit 50,000 people living along the Dili to Ainaro corridor.
UNDP-DARC project is in partnership with the government of Timor-Leste and funded by GEF and LDCF.