Timor Leste, ADB launch next stage of key water supply project

The Government of Timor-Leste and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to mark the start of the next stage of a project that aims to scale up access to safe, reliable drinking water across the country.

Those taking part included Mari Alkatiri, President of the Oecusse Special Economic Zone, and Richard Phelps, Principal Infrastructure Specialist, ADB.

“This next phase will continue the push to reduce the incidence of water-related diseases, to deliver 24-hour supplies to target urban areas, and to lessen the workload of women who currently bear the brunt of water collection activities,” said Phelps at the ceremony.

Pante Macasar is the second targeted site under the District Capitals Water Supply Project, which is rehabilitating and expanding water supply systems in Manatuto and Pante Macasar. It also includes an awareness-raising campaign on using water efficiently and on safe hygiene practices. The goal of the District Capitals Water Supply Project is to provide clean, reliable water supplies to about 30,500 people over the next 20 years in these two towns. 

It will be especially beneficial for women in helping to reduce the need for water collection, and by increasing their knowledge on hygiene. The government’s target is to provide 24-hour access to safe drinking water for 100% of the population by 2030. 

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.