Despite stoning attacks and an assault on an IOM doctor, who was cut on the shoulder by a knife-wielding militia man in the IOM truck marshalling area located near the Atambua police station, IOM on 21 February managed to transport 434 refugees to Batugade. The attacks on IOM and UNHCR staff and increased tension in the Atambua camps follow violence that erupted at Saturday's UN and IOM-facilitated family reunion at the Batugade/Motaain border. Stones were thrown during the event, which attracted some 13,000 people prompting the Indonesian military (TNI) to fire approximately 200 rounds into the air to restore order.
Returns: As of 23 February, 144, 266 persons have returned to East Timor from West Timor, other parts of Indonesia and Australia in an organized fashion by air, land and sea. Some 1,220 East Timorese refugees have registered in the Atambua camps to return on 24 February on IOM organized land convoys and are expected to cross the border at Batugade. Two flights with 140 persons returning from Sydney via Darwin arrived at Dili's Komoro Airport today.
Shelter: Under the UNHCR shelter programme, the distribution of building materials to its implementing partners Peace Winds Japan (Liquica District), Action Contre La Faim (Manatuto District) and Goal (Aileu District) is ongoing. To date, these implementing partners have collected some 770 MTs of building materials from UNHCR's storage facilities in Dili. In addition, 1,400 MTs of shelter kits, which were transported by ship directly to Com, harbour from Surabaya will be distributed by IRC and Concern to Lautem District. Concern will also distribute these materials to Baucau District. IRC has also received some 200 MTs of UNHCR shelter materials for distribution in Oecusse town. A total of 320 MTs of UNHCR shelter materials have been transported to Betano with the assistance of INTERFET and WFP, which will be distributed by Timor Aid in the Manufahi District.
In Covalima District, some 5,000 families are to be assisted under CARE's shelter programme. To date, 1,300 families have received basic tools and nails. In addition, CARE has distributed 400 out of 750 shelter kits in the Suai area.
World Vision is planning to assist with the reconstruction of 4,000 shelters in Bobonaro and 7,000 in Ermera and Aileu.
The ICRC has temporarily suspended its shelter programme in Atsabe (Ermera District) due to a severe deterioration of the road. Once repairs have been completed ICRC will resume shelter operations.
UNDP has surveyed the road this week and are looking into repair possibilities.
Education: UNICEF continues with the distribution school reconstruction materials. Building materials consist of iron sheets, timber (2 sizes: 4mx12cmx3.5cm and 4mx7cmx3.5cm), cement and nails. In addition to the School-in-a-Box kits already distributed, UNICEF is ensuring that all students receive basic school supplies including exercise books, pens/pencils and individual slates.
Currently, 129,446 students taught by 5,963 teachers are enrolled in 650 schools throughout East Timor.
In addition to UNICEF's programme, CONCERN distributed educational materials to Cova Lima District schools. Some 4,000 exercise books, 2,160 graph books, 600 pens, 1,316 erasers, 65 large world maps and 11 guitars were delivered this past week to support the expansion of the education programme.
CONCERN also distributed specialised carpentry tool kits. A total of 952 of these kits have been delivered to the Ambeno enclave, Ainaro, Lautem (Lospalos), Aileu, Ermera, Viqueque, Cova Lima, Bobonaro and Dili Districts.
Health: As a result of last week's health workshop, a policy advisory board has been established, consisting of 16 Timorese health professionals and eight UNTAET health advisers.
In its weekly epidemiological bulletin, WHO reports that there have been two further cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever in a 12-year old girl and a 35-year old man both originating in Bobonaro district. There have been no further reports of acute flaccid paralysis. One serologically confirmed case of Hepatitis A (diagnosed in Darwin) has been reported in an expatriate living in East Timor. This is keeping in line with earlier reports of Hepatitis A in children in Batugade, and a total of more than 100 cases of acute jaundice syndrome.
Measles cases continue to be reported; although a decline in the number of cases was noted. A total of eight cases were reported this week, with five originating in Ermera district, two in Liquica district and one in Dili district.
MSF in Bobonaro district is supporting an UNICEF nurse who has begun to implement a measles vaccination programme. Vaccinations will take place at the MSF hospital in Maliana as well as in locations covered by MSF's mobile clinic initiative.
The numbers of jaundice cases have come down in the past two weeks, from a peak of 18 cases in the middle of January. Three cases of acute jaundice syndrome were reported in Dili.
Water and Sanitation: Programmes by UNICEF, OXFAM and ACF for water and sanitation rehabilitation continue throughout East Timor, however, two recently arrived agencies will complement current operations. The German Technical Cooperation, GTZ, plans to begin water and sanitation projects supported by OXFAM, in Baucau, Viqueque and Lautem districts. Starting this week, in an effort to establish a mapping system highlighting East Timor's water resources; engineers from JICA will conduct a countrywide assessment. One of the objectives of the mission aims at identifying local water technicians that will be employed for future projects. In an effort to support emergency repair operations, JICA has pledged the direct release of funds to finance such projects as identified by the engineering team. The team comprising 13 engineers arrived in East Timor on 19 February and is expected to stay until June.
In addition, an ICRC team travels to Ermera on 6 March for a ten-day water and sanitation assessment mission of the district.
In Bobonaro District, where dengue fever and malaria are prevalent, OXFAM continues to support an anti-mosquito campaign by providing over 3000 bed-nets and body soap in four sub-districts. OXFAM has also conducted a house to house survey of mosquito larvae in an effort to eradicate standing water. OXFAM personnel return on weekly follow-up visits to homes ensuring the effective implementation of their programme. Until recently, INTERFET assisted by regularly spraying anti-mosquito chemicals within the District.
In Cova Lima District, the OXFAM team has successfully completed the rehabilitation of the town water supply system in Suai. As of mid- February, residents now have access to clean water assured by a scheduled distribution system. In other programmes, CARE International is conducting a district-wide assessment of approximately 300 wells and has implemented a rural well-rehabilitation programme.
In Manatuto on 11 February, an inter-agency team comprising UNICEF, UNTAET and ETSA, decided on the needs for a future Water Department. As a result, one Field Monitoring Officer and three Field Monitoring Assistants are employed by UNTAET at the sub-district level to monitor the water/sanitation situation and propose future projects.
Agriculture: Following reports of seed deficits in Bobonaro district, an agronomist from the UNTAET agriculture unit visited the district today together with a MSF representative and a humanitarian affairs officer. A report on the visit is expected to be produced in the coming days. According to local authorities the needs for Atabe, Cailako, Balibo and Bobonaro sub-districts amount to some 41 MTs of seed.
Logistics: A total of 121 MTs of food has been delivered by WFP helicopter between 16-25 February to Ermera, Manufahi, Covalima and Bobonaro (Lolotoi Sub-District). The WFP helicopter on 24 February took representatives from WFP, UNTAET, ACF and MSF on a food assessment mission to Cailaco and will transport the same representatives to Atauro Island for another food assessment mission. Further missions are planned for the coming week to Liquica and Ermera.
WFP trucks have transported 588 MTs of food to Maliana, Aileu, Baucau and Ermera between 16 and 23 February. From 16-28 February, the WFP barge will move UNHCR shelter material and 200 MTs of food to Oecusse and 145 MTs of food to Suai.