Domingas is a housewife living with her pregnant daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. In her village, the water source was too far from her house. She could collect only one or two 10-litre jerry cans of water. This meant that Domingas didn’t have enough clean water to wash, clean, cook, and plant crops for herself and family.
Some villages in Baucau in Timor-Leste used to face difficulties accessing clean water as they are located far from water springs. People needed to walk over 30 minutes to fetch clean water every day.
Life-changing clean water
World Vision’s Water for Future project helped people like Domingas improve access to clean water. World Vision installed public water taps, pipes and water tanks in the villages so people can easily come to collect clean water.
Domingas is excited because she has easy access to clean water by simply walking to the nearby public tap. She isn’t worried about not having enough water.
“My grandchildren drink clean water, and I can see their health has improved. Their skin and bodies look healthier than before and they are not sick anymore compared to the past.” said Domingas.
Around the public taps, children now enjoy taking baths before they go to school, and people happily fill up their jerry cans with clean water.
“Thanks to World Vision we bathe twice a day. It has become our habit before we go to school. Moreover, taking a bath in the late afternoon is good to keep us healthier and fresh in order to study at night,” said 11-year-old Feliciano.
As well as improving health, the project has also helped to increase incomes. Access to water has increased the quantity and quality of nutritious crops that people can grow, eat and sell in markets.
To ensure project sustainability, the communities agreed that each household pay $5 every month to operate and maintain the facilities. Facility Management Groups were formed and collect money from each household. The rest of money is used through Savings and Loan Groups to help reducing financial burden for households.
"The general health of the population has improved markedly"
The project’s Water and Sanitation Advisor, Peter Stephen Gearing said that the benefits to the communities are easy to see.
“It wouldn’t be hard to ascertain that the general health of the population particularly children has improved markedly” said Peter.
The President of Baucau Municipal Authority, Antonio Augusto Guterres said that World Vision’s Water for Future project in Baucau is remarkable and he really admires this achievement.
“This is a tremendous success and I am very proud of it. We would be grateful to the people and Government of New Zealand to extend the project in the future” said Antonio.
The Baucau Water for Future project is funded by the Partnership Fund for International Development under the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Dove Charitable Trust. The project has reached 5,020 people in eight communities in Baucau, Timor-Leste.