Clean water puts a spring in their step

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Community members from Uaicana in Timor-Leste used to walk about four kilometres to collect clean water. That distance reduced substantially, to around 100 metres, after the implementation of World Vision’s ‘Baucau Water for the Future’ project. 

Project beneficiary Antonio de Carvalho shared, “The clean water supply is very helpful for us because we used to have to go all the way to the springs to get water. But now it is so close to home and the children can have a bath every day.”

The gravity-fed system was built to transport clean water from the water springs down to the community through 3.4 kilometres of galvanised pipeline. Water is accessible via twenty-one public taps located near homes, the public school and chapel. As well as supplying the materials and tools, World Vision also supplied an engineer to work on the water system. Many community members, including Antonio, volunteered to help World Vision install the pipes to help bring clean water to 534 community members.

Antonio’s wife, Herminia shared, “In the past, we collected water from far away, and now it is so close to our home. It really helps us because we use the water for drinking, cooking, washing clothes, washing kitchen utensils and bathing. My children now look clean since they can bathe every day, they are healthy, have smooth skin and also their nutrition has improved.”

Left to right rear: Hermenia, Antonio and Renato and left to right front: Zenersia, Adalsiza, Fidel and Ela near a water tap provided as part of the Baucau Water for the Future project. Photo: Mariano Pinto/World Vision

Antonio and Herminia’s daughter, Senersia, aged 9, shared, "I wash myself every day, my body is clean and I drink clean water. I bathe early and then go to school. I don’t need to fetch water from far away any more. "I want to say thank you to World Vision Timor-Leste.”

World Vision Timor-Leste’s Deputy Country Director, Jose da Costa, said, “It’s wonderful to see how the lives of people in Uaicana have improved through this water project. Accessing clean water is a challenge in many remote areas of Timor-Leste and World Vision will continue to address this issue in other communities.” 

The Administrator of the area, Carlos Alberto Guterres, said they were very happy to work with development partners such as World Vision to bring clean water to communities.

The Administrator, Carlos Alberto Guterres (left) and Jose da Costa, World Vision Timor-Leste’s Deputy Country Director (right) inaugurated Uaicana's clean water supply. Photo: Angelo Ximenes/World Vision

Administrator Carlos called on the community and the Uaicana Facilities Management Group to maintain the water system to ensure its longevity.

The ‘Baucau Water for the 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 2,220 people in six communities in Baucau, Timor-Leste.