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  1. A total of

  2. donated
    (100% funded)

  3. to help improve
    Water & Sanitation

  4. impacting

  5. in

What’s covered in project costs

The Footprints funding will contribute to the delivery of safe water, sanitation and hygiene to one village in Manufahi District.

Project objectives and outcomes

Objective 1:

Help all community members in one village gain access to a supply of safe, sustainable water through the construction of gravity feed water facilities.


  • A village gains access to improved water supplies free from contamination, reducing the incidence of water related diseases. The community will be healthier and more productive, saving time and money due to fewer bouts of illness.
  • Women and girls’ time spent collecting water is reduced, freeing up time for school and other productive pursuits. In turn, the entire community gains a greater amount of time for other social and economic activities. 
  • Children are able to stay in school and focus on education when they might otherwise stay home to collect water. 

Objective 2:

Help all community members in a village gain access to low cost, low maintenance hygienic toilets through the community led total sanitation approach.


All community members in one village:

  • Have access to and regularly use improved toilets rather than resorting to open defecation, resulting in a reduction of infected faecal material being present in the environment.
  • Feel a sense of achievement having built a household toilet, and are motivated to maintain it in a hygienic condition for the long term.
  • Are aware of and practice improved hygiene behaviours, such as hand washing after going to the toilet and before eating or cooking.

Objective 3:

Help all community members in one village to improve their hygienic practices and environmental sanitation, focusing on hand washing and other practices such as penning animals and management of run-off to reduce places for mosquitoes to breed.


Six monthly monitoring visits after project completion report that household toilets are being used and maintained in a hygienic condition (at least 70% of all toilets), and a representative sample of villagers are able to demonstrate their knowledge of proper hygiene practices and hand-washing. 

Background on the issue 

Of the nearly 800,000 people living in rural communities in Timor-Leste only 61% of the population have access to safe water, compared to 95% in urban areas, and only 27% have access to improved sanitation, compared to 69% in urban areas. Poor sanitary practices and lack of clean water lead to preventable, waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea – which is responsible for more than one in five child deaths in Timor-Leste.

In Timor-Leste’s rural communities, the absence of nearby clean water source has massive implications for health, education and community wellbeing.  Women and girls can spend up to three hours per day walking long distances to collect water, precluding them from participating in school or other productive activities. Women and girls are also more vulnerable to sexual attack when traveling long distances for water or going to the toilet outside. Responsibility for fetching water continues throughout pregnancy and affects newborn and child maternal health, leading to higher infant mortality rates. Nearly half of the population is Timor-Leste is stunted due to ill-health and malnutrition. These outcomes can be reduced in future through access to improved water and sanitation.

Project partners / community involvement

The community is involved in every step of the project starting with the development of a Community Action Plan.

The project will provide significant and on-going support to the community water and sanitation committees (GMF). Practical training and regular mentoring of GMF members aims to ensure that they have the capacity, confidence and community-backing to maintain the water supply systems and conduct repairs when needed. This model promotes community ownership of the project and sustainability into the long term.  

How this project fits into a larger strategy or project

The direction for WaterAid’s Timor-Leste country program is documented in the WaterAid in Timor-Leste Country Strategy 2016-2020. In 2015-2016 we will continue to focus on addressing inequalities in rural communities through provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects and promoting sustainable programs. This funding will directly impact our ability to deliver on this aspect of our larger strategy.

A priority remains advocating government’s commitment to WASH on a national level following increased levels of funding in recent years. WaterAid continues to build its capacity and reputation as a sector leader and will continue to focus on capacity building of local NGO partners and the broader INGO community in Timor-Leste.  The growth and success of our programs in rural communities helps cement WaterAid’s status in Timor-Leste as a sector leader and directly impacts our ability to engage with these vital partners.  

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