USAID Announces Award of New Water and Sanitation Project

Improving Community Resilience in Oecusse project will raise quality of life for 25 communities in 13 villages

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 14, 2015
Pamala Horugavye and Cristovao Guterres

Dili, May 14, 2015–The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a new water and sanitation project in Timor-Leste. The Improving Community Resilience in Oecusse Project will assist 25 communities in 13 villages in the Municipality to have better access to clean, safe water, improve sanitation and hygiene practices, and strengthen community organizations to operate and maintain water and sanitation facilities. World Neighbors, an international non-governmental organization with experience in Oecusse, will conduct the three-year project.

The Municipality of Oecusse suffers from low farm productivity, a lack of clean water, and geographic isolation from the rest of the country. Like other upland areas in Timor-Leste, the ecology is fragile, and slash-and-burn agriculture makes the lack of water resources worse. The shortage of clean water sources and poor sanitation and hygiene practices in this area lead to health problems, particularly for the elderly and children.

The Improving Community Resilience in Oecusse Project will assist communities to protect their water sources through simple methods, such as planting trees and hedgerows to reduce run-off and loss of water, and by enacting and enforcing water protection bylaws. To prevent disease resulting from poor sanitation and hygiene, the project will promote washing of hands and maintaining clean water for cooking. In addition, the project will work with civil society organizations and savings and credit groups to contribute to the sustainability of water and sanitation facilities.

Mission Director John Seong stated, “Water is a basic human need, but for poor communities, using and maintaining access to clean water is not a reality. It is no surprise to us that poor communities lag behind in sanitation. Investing in infrastructure alone would not solve all the problems. It is the communities themselves investing in protecting water; better managing water use, and doing more to promote better hygiene that will help address the problems. The American people, through USAID, are pleased to help provide local communities in Oecusse with improved access to clean water through this new $1.6 million project.”


USAID serbisu hamutuk hanesan parseira ho governu Timor- Leste atu fó apoiu ba dezenvolvimentu ne’ebé efetivu no baze alargada. Dezde 2001, USAID fornese ona asisténsia dezenvolvimentu liuhusi milliaun $308 ba Timor-Leste. USAID fó apoiu Timor-Leste liuhusi ninia esforsu atu harii liu tan nasaun ne’ebé prósperu, saudavel no demokrátiku liuhusi programa sira ne’ebé enkoraja kreximentu ekonomia ne’ebé sustentável espesiálmente iha setór agrikultura; hodi hadi’a ema Timor-oan sira nia saúde, partikularmente feto no labarik sira; no reforsa fundasaun boa governasaun- área tomak ne’ebé identifika ona iha Planu Dezenvolvimentu Estratéjia Timor-Leste ba 2011-2030.