Piped water for Roberto's family in Timor-Leste

2 min read
Roberto washes his hands
Image: WaterAid/Marlinda Carvalho da Costa Jeronimo

A year ago, I helped my family collect water from the water source, bringing 2 jerry cans and walking for an hour round trip. I am happy because now that I have water in my house, I do not collect water anymore and I have more time to study and play”.  - Roberto

Roberto, 10, is a grade four student who lives with his parents, two brothers and sister in a village in Liquiçá municipality, Timor-Leste. In the past, Roberto used to wake up early every morning to walk to the nearest water source to collect water with his mother and older brother, about 30 minutes away. The family would need to complete this journey three to four times a day to have enough water for their needs.

Even with all these trips, the family would not have enough water to bath at home, so Roberto would wash in the water source each morning as he filled his jerrycans. With so many tasks to get done in the morning, he was often late to school.

We have been working closely with local partners in Roberto’s village to bring clean water to the entire community. Together, we installed a water system and water pipelines that distribute clean water throughout the community, and even directly to some households, like Roberto’s.

We also installed inclusive toilets in schools and the healthcare facility, as well as an incinerator in the healthcare facility, to help the community stay healthy and free from disease.

Overall the project has reached 480 people throughout the community with clean water and decent toilets. 

Roberto with his parents Veronica and Cipriano
Roberto with his parents Veronica and Cipriano
Image: WaterAid/Marlinda Carvalho da Costa Jeronimo

The project has been especially life-changing for mothers like Veronica:

I used to walk for four hours in total everyday collecting water with my children, and look after them during the way to water source. After collecting water, I continue to cook, do the laundry, growing vegetables, and water the plants. By having direct access to water from my house, I feel it makes my work easier. I do not need to think as much or do as much hard work, and I have more time to look after my children at home”.

To those who have access to clean water at house, be grateful, and always use it with full responsibility, because we previously need to wake up early and walk for hours just to collect water for my family’s daily necessities”.