Access to Water Improves Lives in Asia’s Youngest Country | Asian Development Bank

Access to Water Improves Lives in Asia’s Youngest Country

Video | 2 July 2018

Timor-Leste plans to provide universal access to clean water by 2030. The Asian Development Bank is supporting the plan, focusing on improving water supply in Dili and the municipal capitals.

In the municipal capitals, more than 30,000 people in 4,400 households now have reliable water supply thanks to ADB support.

Transcript

Dili, Timor-Leste - A young, fast-growing, and increasingly healthier population is one of Timor-Leste’s greatest assets.

Child and infant mortality was halved between 2003 and 2016 but much remains to be done.

Unsafe water supply and inadequate sanitation still cause diarrhea and malnutrition.

Improving water supply remains one of the country’s top priorities.

“As the foundation of human health, water supply is important for people’s lives,” explains Rui de Sousa, National Director for Water Services.

“Our mission is to deliver good quality, sustainable water to give our community a better quality of life, which is the foundation of our economic welfare.”

Timor-Leste plans to provide universal access to clean water by 2030.

ADB is supporting the plan, focusing on improving water supply in Dili and the municipal capitals.

“In the past, we had to take water from the river, the wells, or water distribution points,” says Betinha Maria de Jesus, a housewife from Manatutu.

“Now we have pipes bringing water to our homes. We are happy even though the water is not available all day. We can use the water for so many things now.”

In the municipal capitals, more than 30,000 people in 4,400 households now have reliable water supply.

Hygiene awareness campaigns were also run to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases.

“We no longer need to worry about water supply,” says Joana Maria de Jesus Soares, a housewife from Manatutu.

“Each household now has its own tap. The water supply now is enough for our daily needs.

We also use it to water flowers and grow vegetables in our gardens.”

Improving operation and maintenance of the water system is also part of project to ensure its sustainability.

“The water connections are very old. Also, as the population grows water supply is no longer adequate to meet demand,” explains Rui de Sousa.

“Support from the Asian Development Bank can help us improve water services for the community.”

Much has already been achieved, but much also remains to be done for Timor-Leste to achieve the Strategic Development Plan goals by 2030.

“We look forward to ADB extending its services, especially for the maintenance program that is coming up,” explains Gonçalo Doutel, Director of the Municipality Services for Water, Sanitation and Environment, in Manatuto.

“We hope that the water services will soon be extended to areas that do not yet have no access to water.”

ADB has been by Timor-Leste’s side since independence in 2002, with more than $380 million in assistance.

ADB remains by Timor-Leste’s side, helping improve the living standards of the Timorese people.