This case study is based on applied research carried out by ISF-UTS, WaterAid Timor-Leste and Fundasaun Hafoun Timor-Lorosa’e (FHTL) in TimorLeste for four weeks in October 2019, with research activities carried out over two weeks in Asumanu Suku, Liquiçá Municipality. Asumanu is a one location where WaterAid Timor-Leste is carrying out its Water for Women program Beyond Inclusion: Realising gender transformational change and sustainable wash systems.
Asumanu is a rural village located in the mountainous area of Liquiçá Municipality, in Liquiçá Administrative Post. WaterAid’s program area has an estimated population of 500 people living in 79 households across three sub-villages within Asumanu (Siscolema, Hatumatelu and Kaikasico). The primary livelihood is rain-fed subsistence agriculture and the main crops are maize, coffee, cassava, vegetables, beans, coconut, sweet potato and fruit.
The primary water supply in Asumanu is a piped scheme with 27 tapstands on plots. The water source for the scheme is a spring. Liquiçá municipality was declared open defecation free (ODF) in 2019 and pour flush toilets are the main type of latrine found in Asumanu Village.
Liquiçá is experiencing increasingly irregular rainfall, higher temperatures and longer dry periods1 . The World Bank has suggested that climate change impacts on water resources in Timor-Leste are generally not well understood at the local scale2, however, an assessment of the impacts of El Niño on Timor-Leste in 2016 found that water scarcity was leading to people needing to change their primary water source (often switching to unsafe sources), less water for gardens and crops and some conflict arising over water resources.3