Our Water Crisis is over…. Change is here for good:

Water is the source of life! For seven years, I struggled to find a way for everyone in the village to have access to clean safe water. Thanks to CVTL (Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste – Timor-Leste Red Cross) and our community, today we can celebrate that Change is here for good. We have a clean and safe water supply.  

Meet Manuel Soares, the Village Chief of Hatulia – a village situated in the mountain of Ermera Municipality. Hatulia consists of four hamlets and is home to about 6,000 people and includes the hamlet of Oerema.

I tried many ways to try to get help for our water system through writing proposals to all parts of the Government. It’s a complicated and difficult – and I had no luck.

Together with CVTL, we achieved the clean safe access to water through a great process. We did the design together and the community participated in the planning, construction and maintenance of the water system. We also established a group to do the maintenance of the whole water system and had training and socialization on many different issues like nutrition, first aid etc for all of the Central Village of Oerema.

The project started in 2017 and was completed in 2018 but was not inaugurated because of COVID -19.

93 households had access to clean water (with 578 beneficiaries including seven persons with disabilities and also a Primary School). The water system included a covered tank at the water source, four distribution tanks, five tanks throughout the hamlet, twenty-one tap stand, and a total of 5,013 metres of pipes.

The community is so happy with the successful work of CVTL. Most importantly, Oerema Central hamlet has been released from the water crisis.  The community – especially the women and children –  do not have to spend their days collecting water;  they can now walk out their front door and there is a nearby tap stand to get their daily  water needs. This saves so much time. Having water now has encouraged the community to build toilets – another success from this important project.

I am hoping that we can get a water and sanitation set up for the three nearby hamlets and I will continue to ask for help from the Government, NGOs, and CVTL to make this happen. Crispin da Silva, a Community Volunteer from 2017 echos Mr Soares views. I am so happy to have the opportunity to be being a volunteer for our community; and grateful that we now have access to water – it has changed our lives!

We want to thank the Timor-Government MOP (Ministry of Public Works) and Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste for supporting this change and a special thanks to CVTL for making this happen.

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