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Water & Sanitation
1. The community has an increased confidence in demanding better quality of life for their people and have begun to invite and seek assistance from visiting government officials.
2. The relevant Timor-Leste government departments have begun to acknowledge the importance of integrated water, sanitation and hygiene promotion for lasting behaviour change and improved health for people living in Liquica. This “buy-in” has begun to evolve into reformed practices within government and will lead to broader implementation of effective water, sanitation and hygiene education projects.
3. WaterAid Australia will continue to have a strong presence in lobbying government, as we advocate heavily for an effective solution for the people of Timor Leste.
Note: A local health clinic in Maubara sub District (where all WaterAid projects have been to date) has indicated a 24% drop in diarrhoea cases from 2007 to 2008. This is not considered to be conclusive but may be a corroboration of the impacts that WaterAid supported activities may be having in the district.
This project has contributed to the increased capacity of the local community as well as the local NGO partner, HTL in Kamalvouru. WaterAid Australia staff continued to mentor staff from HTL throughout the project period and as a result have enhanced their technical capacity in implementing water, sanitation and hygiene programs.
Staff from HTL and WaterAid Australia helped “project management committees” to plan, implement, operate and mange their own water and sanitation projects. WaterAid Australia continues to provide follow-up support to the committees for at least two years after the technical elements were completed, to ensure the PMC takes on all operational responsibilities for the project.
WaterAid Australia has also organised workshops, which include several different Project Management Committees, facilitating discussion and sharing of useful experiences between representatives from surrounding villages.
WaterAid is well aware that long term sustainability is difficult to achieve in projects in developing countries. In Timor-Leste it is official government policy that each village community is responsible for the ongoing operation and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities. The proscribed mechanism is that village GMF committees.
The project in Kamalvouru will be sustained well into the future. As the village is situated in a remote part of Timor-Leste, the community have a real desire for improved water and sanitation facilities and an investment in maintaining these. The community also continues to display enthusism towards the developments, with a strong leadership and active PMC to take these facilities into the furture.
In order to maintain momentum and enthusiasm for the project (and subsequent utilisation), WaterAid Australia will continue to visit and provide “hands on” support to the residents of Kamalvouru for two years. Currently, the communities are receiving support in the following areas:
WaterAid Australia established strong links with other donors and Aid organisations who are working to meet other other development needs of the residents of Kamalvouru, such as small scale agriculture and micro-economies. The confidence that the communities developed having successfully completed their water and sanitation project continues to motivate them to aspire to great improvements. The residents of Kamalvouru have lobbied for other development activities in their region. WaterAid Australia will continue to capitalize on this fantastic community energy during the next two years of follow up.
However it is well recognised that village GMF committees need some external support, particularly access to higher level skills and spare parts, for serious repairs to be effected. There is not yet any clear national system of support to GMF’s.
A variety of mechanisms are being used in other countries, including support form local government technical departments, local NGOs and private enterprise. There is currently a considerable amount of external advice (from AusAID and USAID in particular) being received by the government in Timor-Leste about which system to adopt, the results of which should be decided in the next year. Until this is clarified WaterAid has decided to employ a “boundary rider”, who will be on call and visit each GMF at least once every 6 months over the next 2 year period to provide ongoing support and enhance the sustainability of the project benefits.
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