The objective of the Mini Market and Bus Waiting Shelter project implemented by CARE International in Bobonaro District, Timor Leste is to develop rural transportation and market infrastructure. This will support the objectives of an existing community empowerment project to rehabilitate rural roads, encourage entrepreneurship, and link rural communities with essential services
The Mini Market project is designed to support the IGAs and improved access to expand market opportunities in local areas.
The Bus Waiting Shelters will enable community members to use their improved roads to access essential services by creating comfortable areas for children, elderly, pregnant women or sick people can wait for transportation.
Because the Halimesak site is located in a more central position in the Odemau succo, the project team and the local community agreed that the Halimesak market will be slightly bigger (5x 15m surface) that the Ilebole market (6 x12m). Both sites are on the side of the main district road connecting Maliana town to Bobonaro, and at strategic intersections with rural feeder roads.
22 crew, of which over 40% are women, were selected to become labor workers on two mini-market construction sites .
Construction of the Mini-market and bus shelter occurred between November 2008 and March 2009 .
The mini-market finished and ready to go. The market management committee will be in charge of coordinating the proper usage and maintenance of the markets going forward.
The completed bus shelter is a safe place for women, children and elderly people to wait for the bus and should improve the access to markets for residents.
Construction of the Mini-Market in Ilebole began the third week of January 2009. A bus waiting shelter and public toilet facilities were also constructed at the site. Construction was completed mid July 2009.
Choosing a site for the Illebole Mini Market
Under construction in mid 2009
The finished mini market in Ilebole
Challenges & lessons learned
- The first challenge was the difficulty in procurement of quality construction material, and the logistics of delivering them to site. In the context of Timor Leste, materials were often out of stock or of insufficient quality, and the poor condition of the trucks used by the project which encountered frequent breakdowns lead-ing to regular delays of delivery of materials to the field. Delays were further exacerbated in February and March with the peak in precipitation during the rainy season
- The contracting method for the labour was initially based on a daily wage basis, however incentives for prompt completion of works were non-existent. The project partly addressed this issue in the later phase by changing the labour contracting method from input-based (daily labour) to output-based payments, using lump-sum contracts and building on established work teams and leadership.
- The third main challenge faced by the project was the difficulty in mobilizing the community leadership to take responsibility for the market. The hand-over ceremony for the mini market only took place in July 2009, once market management committees had been created and individuals had attended a training session.
The finished bus shelter in Ilebole
Feedback from community
A survey was conducted in in 7 sub-villages near the project area in March 2009, after one market construction was completed and the second one was under way. During the survey, about 150 individuals were interviewed, evenly split between men and women, and between crew workers under the CEIC project and non crew workers.
Below are some relevant survey results:
- 100% of women and men crew workers and 70-90% of non workers thought the mini markets would have a positive impact on their lives.
- The top 3 reasons provided for why the mini markets would have a positive impact were the following:
- (i) will sell things there (95-100%)
- (ii) will buy things there (90%)
- (iii) will help save time (over 80%).
The lesser reasons were: to visit friends or relatives (10-25%) and to seek transportation (5-15%).
The project has ended in July 2009. However, CARE still has an agricultural development project and an Integrated Rural Development project taking place in the area, and for which the target beneficiaries will continue enjoying the newly constructed mini markets in the future.
(Update Posted: 25 Sept 2009)
Project Costs include
CARE will provide public construction facilities for: the infrastructure for 2 Mini Markets and 2 bus shelters, as well as basic facilities including 2 public toilets, 1 public reservoir and 1 public tap.
Approximately 20,000 individual residents will benefit from this project. The beneficiaries comprise all sectors of the rural communities including school children, elderly and infirm accessing health services, and local farmers or small business owners accessing markets and extension services. This project will link in closely with the larger program which will provide business management and health education training to contribute to the overall wellbeing of target communities.
Mini Market aims:
- Through creating Mini Markets the project aims to support income generating initiatives (part of CARE’s larger project in this district) and improve access to expand market opportunities in the local area.
- It also aims to increase household income and provide greater access to diverse food sources potentially leading to improved nutritional status.
Bus Waiting Spot aims:
- Increase economic activities beyond the immediate rural area and link rural communities with sub-district and district level market-places.
- Increase utilisation of essential services outside of the villages, particularly health care, potentially leading to increase of preventative health care such as immunisation coverage, attended births, and prompt treatment for serious illnesses
Background to this project:
CARE has been working in the Bobonaro district of Timor-Leste on a larger “community empowerment project”. It aims to train local communities on road maintenance techniques while providing participants with income to support capital investment into individual income generating activities. The project also incorporates health education, promoting improved health seeking behaviours and preventative care. Participants are also provided with business and management training to support the sustainability of the income generating activities.
The smaller project that Footprints is funding is designed to create a mini-market so these income generating activities can be put into practice.
The possible Income Generating Activities for the mini market project are; Vegetables, Fruit, Local products like rice, corn, peanut, potato etc, Cloth, Grocery shop, Cosmetics, Meat such as chicken, pork, goat etc, Kerosene oil, Stationery.