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Project report

Integrated water, sanitation & education, Liquica Timor-Leste , RUN BY: WaterAid Australia | STATUS: COMPLETED

Maria with two of her kids washing hands at a community tap, Kaimeta Village. Image: WaterAid Australia

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 36,302

Raised from 15,248 people

Project Outcomes

The community of 197 people in 27 households at Kaimeta had no proper water supply system and were dependent on temporary water supply systems, which were prone to wide-scale microbial contamination.

The project successfully met it's aims to provide the portable water supply integrated with sanitation and hygiene components.

  • All homes were provided with potable water supply by way of 12 community water points constructed at convenient locations in the village.  
  • These taps immediately reduced the walking time and distance endured by the residents of Kaimeta collecting water.
  • The water points have a reserve tank to collect and store water for the ongoing convenience of the households they serve.

As is common across Timor-Leste and in many developing countries, almost all of the community members defecated in open spaces.  Diarrhoea is the most prevalent and problematic disease in rural Timor-Leste and can be easily prevented through effective sanitation and improved hygiene practices.

  • 17 toilets were built in Kaimeta as part of this project, making the village effectively open defecation free.
  • As a part of hygiene education program, all the community members received education on safe hygiene behaviour. As a result, community members constructed tippy taps (a foot operated hand-washing system made with locally, and often free, materials) in their households and toilets.  
  • The most important and life-saving hygiene practice is hand washing at critical times (after defecation and before eating). It is a fact that hand washing at critical times alone can reduce the incidence of diarrheal diseases by 40%.

View PDF Chart document showing huge changes in behaviour following project implementation.

Case study of Kaimeta Darulema.

Kaimeta is a village in Maubara sub district. This village comprises 27 households with a total population of 197.  It is located about 10 kilometres uphill from the district town and accessible through an all-weather road built in late 2009.

Maria is one of the members of this community. She is forty five years old. Maria is blessed with five children - two boys and three girls. Unfortunately Maria’s husband passed away just a few weeks after the project was completed. Before the water system was built, Maria spent significant time collecting water. She fetched water from the distant, unprotected source which took her 60 minutes for a round trip.

Now Maria is happy because the water point is near by her home and easy to fill up water buckets for the toilet or for cooking.  She also feels it is more convenient for her children, and assists her to make it easier to get clean and promote safe hygiene behaviour such as hand washing. Maria built a latrine in 2005 and now having a water and sanitation project in her village, she finds it easier to clean and maintain her toilet.  

Maria is planning to grow vegetables from waste water for income generation. “That will generate funds for maintenance of the water system as well” - says Maria.


As with much development work, there have been challenges associated with this project, including:

  • Availability of spare parts: spare parts are not available in the district town.  This will add a slight impediment to prompt repairs of the systems.
  • Sustainability of hygiene behaviour change: Community members tend to easily go back to their previous unsafe hygiene behaviours. WaterAid will continue to work with the residents of Kaimeta to ensure these behaviours are being practiced.

Successes/attitudes of community:

Kaimeta has been a great success. This community of 197 people now have access to safe water, as well as sanitation facilities.

The project itself had a high degree of community engagement, with the members of the village being part of the planning and implementation of the project. This is not uncommon, as there always a real need for these services.

Local materials have been used where appropriate and available.

Role of the partners:

The role of local partners is instrumental to successful implementation of this project. Local partner staff know the local context, language and culture. This, along with their technical skills, has contributed to the success of this project. However, the local partners lack in-depth technical, community mobilization and hygiene promotion skills.  WaterAid mentors the partners throughout the project implementation.

What's next for this project?

This project commenced in March 2010 and was completed in August 2011.  There will be follow up support provided to the community for 2 years from WaterAid. This includes technical and management support to strengthen community water and sanitation committees (GMF) to undertake small scale maintenance.

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 have committed to adding funds to a communal pot in order to maintain facilities in the future. The community also has enthusiasm towards the development with a strong leadership and active  water and sanitation committees that will maintain these facilities into the future.

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
Travel Insurance Direct AU
Travel Insurance Direct NZ
***Short Break Insurance
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.