Support for water program in Timor Leste
29 November 2017
Sustainable Access to Water Supply Ensured in remote villages in Timor-Leste! Field Report Vol.3
The supports and cooperation from our dear citizens and those who help to promote the Carrying Water Project has resulted in a great success. We are pleased to inform that two Gravity Fed Systems (GFS) have been constructed to provide water to rural communities and schools, this made possible by financial contribution from all of you. The installation of GFSs has released children and women from the burden of the daily fetching water from water sources which are often located away from their communities.
The members of the CWP visited Timor-Leste and interacted with the local people there! Let us share our experiences with you.
Urahou Suco, Ermera municipality
|We visited, for the second time, one of the Ono’s targeting areas, Hatu Lailete sub-village in Urahou.|
|It is clarified in local language, Teton, that the implementation of GFS was made possible by the partnership between Ono City and UNICEF.|
It was exciting to witness the water system has been implemented in summer of 2017, through active participation of community people, providing reliable source of water to the adjoining communities.
Gravity fed systems (GFS) that use the mountain springs and supply water to the village without any eternal power /energy are the hope for many Timorese families.
This is the water tank build at higher elevation where water source is available.
The tank corrects water, then through the water pipe water runs four to five kilometer down to the villages at the lower elevation.
Community taps have been used very clean. People decorate the tap with flowers and green plants.
|The GFS is benefiting 80 households of 449 community members living in two sub-villages (aldeias) and 214 students and teachers.|
The principal of an elementary school in Urahou shared his experiences with us.
“The impacts are so dramatic, creating many positive consequences for children. It enables children receive uninterrupted running water within walking distance, and promotes the dignity and quality of their lives. Now their face, tooth and everything has become clean, and skin diseases have decreased in number because they now bathe every day. It released children from the burden of fetching water, making sure their time to attend classes and to play with friends. We are grateful from the bottom of our heart to Ono people.”
Having expected that more children might have secured time to attend classes, UNICEF had preceded the construction of a new school, in parallel with the installation of GFS, to facilitate their access to a child-friendly learning environment. The new school is equipped with improved sanitation and handwashing facilities since it receives reliable running water from GFS.
|We ran into a couple again whom we met a year ago when the lady was expecting a baby. They now have started a family.
In Timor Leste, lack of safe water is a major contributing factor for the deaths of children under the age of five.
“Dirty dishes, dirty clothe and dirty baby became things of the past,” the young mother told us. “ I used to feel bad about not being able to keep our children clean, but now I am happy to bathe our children every day, making sure their health and dignity. The water system made a big defense in our lives.” We have a great sympathy with her words, as we thought it symbolizes mother’s love for their children, which is universal.
|Meanwhile, how to maintain and manage is a big issue. In Timor Leste, the lack of ownership and capacity of water system management causes problems ranging from the abundance of the broken water system to the illegal water pipe connection to the households.|
Water System Management Group (GMF) representing community and school has already established. The GMF plays an important role in managing and operating the water system. The project focuses on participation of communities and school children and enhancing their awareness on the ownership and the need of maintaining and protecting their precious water source. We are pleased to see that Ono’s contribution unites community people, creating togetherness, determination and commitment toward their goal, which akin to Ono’s philosophy of “YUI”
Mulo Suco, Ainaro Municipality
Manumera is also Ono’s supporting community, located in Hatubulico Administrative Post (Sub-District), Ainaro Municipality, middle part of the country. Here, another Gravity Fed System (GFS) was already constructed thanks to Ono’ contribution. The water system has seven water taps or water points that benefiting 37 households or approximately 222 people, 228 students and one health post.
The water source available is situated up on the hill within 15 minutes walking distance from the communities. This is the reservoir which plays role in collecting in and flowing out water to the community through the water pipes.
Asked about the changes after the GFS, the school principal emphasized the improvement of
nutrition. “Cooking school meals with unsafe, contaminated water often resulted in causing diarrhea and other water-borne diseases.
This is the school garden made possible by the GFS. In Timor Leste, the Ministry of Education makes it mandate to incorporate the school gardening class into a part of the curriculum, and students have tests on this subject so they do on other subjects. “It’s exciting that we finally could provide students with school gardening class. Students learn a lot about nutrition and the idea of being healthy.” The school principle said proudly. Upon the welcoming ceremony, they gave us heartwarming hospitality with big meals, and the vegetables from the school garden were the ingredients for some of the dishes. They were so delicious.
We inferred from their smiles that children are so happy to have the access to sustainable clean water. Community people, teachers and students expressed happiness and sincere appreciation to Ono’ contribution for the improvement of the water environment.