Australia helping Timor-Leste access clean water and improved sanitation

from Government of Australia
Published on 04 Aug 2013

Australia is a major partner for Timor-Leste in water, sanitation and hygiene. Under our Timor-Leste Strategic Partnership for Development, making sure people have access to clean water and basic sanitation is a big focus and one where we have achieved a lot together.

Timor-Leste is on track to meet its Millennium Development Goal target of 75 per cent coverage for rural drinking water by 2015, one of the few it is likely to meet.

“During my visit to Timor-Leste, I will visit a village in Liquica district that is already seeing the benefit of Australian aid,” Minister Parke said.

As a result of our partnership and Australia’s support 268,000 additional Timorese, nearly a quarter of Timor-Leste’s rural population, have access to safe water; 67,000 additional people now have access to improved sanitation; water systems have been installed in 165 rural communities and communities receive support to maintain these systems through training and materials for repairs.

Australia also has a long history in Timor-Leste of support for NGO’s and Civil Society Organisations working directly with communities on WASH including Oxfam, Red Cross, PLAN, World Vision and others.

Minister for International Development, Melissa Parke, will announce $1.78 million in funding for WaterAid Australia to continue to provide poor people in Timor-Leste with better access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

“Access to drinking water in rural areas of Timor-Leste and proper sanitation are problems for most rural Timorese. Australia’s additional funding to WaterAid will improve the delivery of these services, particularly for vulnerable groups,” Ms Parke said.

“It will strengthen existing services in 90 communities and deliver water and sanitation services to 36 more communities, which will improve the lives of around 10,000 men, women and children.”

“WaterAid and local Timorese organisations will also work with district governments to improve water service delivery for an additional 48,000 people in Timor-Leste.”

Worldwide, there are still 780 million people that do not have adequate access to safe water, 2.5 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation, and preventable diarrhoeal diseases claim 1.4 million lives each year.

The Australian Government will work across 19 countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific over the next four years (2013 – 2017) to provide 1.8 million more people with access to safe water and basic sanitation, and improved hygiene.

Media Contact: Rachel Maycock on 0409 725 882