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Project report

Bringing water, sanitation & hygiene to a Manufani village Timor-Leste , RUN BY: WaterAid Australia | STATUS: COMPLETED

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 30,000

Raised from 9,087 people

Project Background

This report provides an overview of the key achievements, impacts, lessons learnt and challenges of delivering Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to a single remote rural village in the district of Manufahi, Timor-Leste. 

WaterAid is pleased to share this report and acknowledges the generosity of all those who contributed in helping us to improve the lives of 124 people who now have access to clean safe water, toilets and improved hygiene. 

Overall, the project progressed as planned and in line with the pro-ject plan, and was on budget. 

At the start of the project WaterAid’s goal was to enhance the health and quality of life of people living in a remote village in the district of Manufahi, through the provision of access to clean water and sanitation and by improving related hygiene practices.

We were able to achieve our goals by completing the following activities in the village of Bimata.

Project Outcomes


Transportation: The road network in Manufahi is poor making it difficult to reach the village. Some of the materials such as piping and tools needed to install the water system needed to be carried up the steep mountains by foot.

Unseasonal Weather: Unseasonal heavy rains delayed work and made conditions a little more difficult to work in.


A Gravity fed system was the most suitable solution for the community of Bimata. In the first instance, a suitable, clean and reliable water spring was identified directly uphill from the village. Unlike boreholes, this meant we did not need to bring in costly machinery which would have been extremely difficult given the mountainous terrain and remote location. Water now flows down from the spring along a system of pipes, is stored in a tank and then released to taps close to households. This has resulted in:

  • 20 Households in the village of Bimata – population 124 are able to access clean, safe water via taps as fed by the gravity fed system.
  • Before work commenced, the community came to together to learn about the benefits of having water in their village and to agree and make the final decisions on where taps were to be installed etc.
  • Water sustainability and quality was tested before commencing work and prior to officially supplying the village with their water.  No contamination (E. coli) was detected and the supply was deemed safe to drink. Monitoring of water quality is on-going.

Program expenditure

All funds provided by Footprints, $30,000, were expended as planned and contributed to funding the overall project including the installation of a gravity fed water system and training and education in sanitation and hygiene to village members.

Project Impact

  • 20 households now have access to reliable, safe and clean water reaching 124 people.
  • All 124 people living in Bimata now have access to toilet and no longer need to go out in the bush. This means they feel safer and have an increased sense of privacy.
  • The Village of Bimata has been officially declared open-defecation free by Timor-Leste local Government officials.
  • Women no longer need to risk their safety and waste precious time climbing steep terrains to collect water.
  • With more time on their hands, women are able to spend more time caring for their families and to engage in income producing activities such as growing fruits and vegetables and making handicrafts.
  • Produce and wares are being sold at the markets means families now have more money to invest back into their household.
  • Women trained as Water User Group members are now having a bigger say around key-decisions in their community, and are role-models for younger women in the village.
  • Families report they are experiencing less outbreaks of diarrhoea. This is especially important for young children as frequent outbreaks of diarrhoea can stunt their growth or affect their education as they spend time at home recovering from their illness instead of being at school.
  • Steps taken to promote community ownership of the project and handing over management of the water supply to the Community Water User Group has contributed to the long-term sustainability of this project.

Community Involvement

  • We helped the community to form a Water Users Group. The community gathered to select and nominate members, including women.
  • Members were trained to understand, manage and ensure equitable supply of water, along with carrying out minor repairs to taps and pipes.  Members were also trained to manage water user funds as households began contributing a small monthly fee to manage on-going water supplies and any future repairs, and;
  • We connected the Water User Group to local government in the case they need help on more complex maintenance issues should they arise.

Hygiene and Sanitation Awareness

  • Over a period of 12 sessions, hygiene and gender equality messages reached 20 households.
  • Village members learned about the importance of handwashing with soap, particularly before and after using a toilet. They also learnt how to practice good kitchen hygiene, including washing and storing their kitchen utensils properly.
  • We carried out a demonstration where people came to realise why using a toilet is so important to staying healthy, particularly as it prevents contamination of their new water source and the spread of diseases. They also learnt how to make their own toilets including disability toilets, using locally available materials.

What's next?

The project in Bimata is now complete. However, to ensure the impact we have made on the community is sustainable, we will continue to monitor progress and support the community for at least two more years.

Where needed, we will help the village maintain their open- defecation free status, and assist the Water User Group to manage their new water supply and to ensure the water quality remains at safe levels to drink. 

The direction for WaterAid Timor-Leste is to continue implementing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects and promoting sustainable programs  that will see us reach our vision, that is - to see a world where everyone, everywhere has access to clean safe water and sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

Can I visit this project?

Not at this time.

How was it this funded?

Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.

World Nomads USA
World Nomads Canada
***World Nomads UK
World Nomads Australia
World Nomads NZ
WaterAid Australia

Over 650 million people in the world don’t have access to safe, clean water to drink, and over two billion don’t have sanitation. WaterAid Australia is an international NGO dedicated exclusively to the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people.