Saturday, September 12, 2015

Goldman: This may push oil to $20

The risk that oil could fall as low as $20 a barrel is rising, with a persistent surplus requiring prices to remain lower for longer to rebalance the market, Goldman Sachs said, cutting its forecasts again. 
"While we are increasingly convinced that the market needs to see lower oil prices for longer to achieve a production cut, the source of this production decline and its forcing mechanism is growing more uncertain, raising the possibility that we may ultimately clear at a sharply lower price with cash costs around $20 a barrel Brent prices," Goldman said in a note Friday. 
The sources of stress: an abundance of oil coupled with a scarcity of storage space. The bank estimates the industry added around 240 million barrels of petroleum to storage tanks from January to August. It projects available identified storage capacity outside China at around 375 million barrels and expects an around 240 million barrel inventory build outside China between September of this year and the end of 2016.
"If you don't bring U.S. or global production down low enough underneath demand to create that rebalancing then you're likely to slam into storage capacity constraints and that would put that downward pressure," said Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman, in a CNBC "Power Lunch" interview Friday.
Goldman Sach's predition should be looked at as warning to Timor-Leste as a country relies havily on oil revenue. Timor-Leste needs to diversify its economy, investing in the infrastructure, human resolurce development, tourism, agriculture and industry in the next few years. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Timor-Leste ends Q2 with over 1.25 million mobile users
Wednesday 9 September 2015 | 15:56 CET | News
Timor-Leste ended the second quarter of 2015 with 1.251 million mobile telephony customers, a drop of 7.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to figures published by the General Directorate for Statistics of the Ministry of Finance. Timor Telecom was market leader with 620,204 customers (624,312 in Q1), followed by Telemor with 470,370 (586,989) and Telkomcel with 160,000 (132,000). Timor Telecom also had 2,746 fixed telephony subscribers, down from 2,825 in March.
A pathway to more sustainable development in Timor-Leste?

A pathway to more sustainable development in Timor-Leste?

The capital Dili has many new good roads with an increase of infrastructure spending. Photo: Tom Perry/World Bank         
My first visit to Timor-Leste was in 2004. At that time, I saw very little infrastructure around the capital Dili. Then in 2014, I visited Dili before settling down as Country Representative for Timor-Leste and noticed big changes compared to 10 years ago. Dili is now bustling with activities and the markets are packed with people. There are many new roads and bridges, more new buildings, shopping centers, hotels and restaurants.

Yet, while much progress has been made, there have also been concerns around the quality and return on investments in infrastructure. With this in mind, Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Finance, with the World Bank’s support, recently conducted a Public Expenditure Review of Infrastructure and looked at the quality of spending on roads, irrigation and electricity across the country.

A major driver of infrastructure spending in the last few years has been the Strategic Development Plan for 2011-2030, where the government committed itself to developing and improving core infrastructure, such as roads and electricity, to support a modern and productive economy. Through this plan and future investment, the government is aiming to achieve upper-middle income status, with a secure, well-educated and healthy population, by 2030.

Infrastructure: core to Timor-Leste’s growth

The government argues that investing in and building infrastructure, particularly roads, will lead to high economic growth in the short and medium term. However, investments in infrastructure should be commensurate with the needs.

In 2011, Timor-Leste’s spending on infrastructure peaked at $534 million--one of the highest rates of infrastructure spending in the world, and a rapid increase in nominal terms from just $33 million in 2008.

In the short term, spending on infrastructure has contributed to economic growth. Growth has been concentrated in the government administration and construction sectors, where spending grew by 128.4% and 97.4% in real terms in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Currently the government is in a strong financial position. Having saved more than $16.5 billion in the petroleum fund, there is enough to pay for the 2014 budget more than ten times over. But this may not always be the case. When looking ahead it is always important to have better planning and consider the maintenance cost for all infrastructure to ensure high returns on investments.

Roads: a priority?

A country’s roads system is often said to be its most valuable non-resource asset, and this is certainly true for Timor-Leste. But with more than 6,000 kilometers of roads – many of them in poor condition – Timor-Leste faces the issue of high maintenance cost and a gradual decline of its assets.

A rule of thumb suggests that a country’s road assets should make up 20-40% of the country’s GDP. If Timor-Leste were to fully restore its road network, it would reach around 109% of non-oil GDP; a value much larger than the economy needs, resulting in maintenance costs that require significant financing and trade-offs in the budget.

To manage these restoration and maintenance concerns, the expenditure review suggests a road hierarchy to guide the development and rehabilitation of the country’s road network. Roads critical to economic and social development should be upgraded, while those less critical should be repaired or rehabilitated at a lower level of service.

Electricity: a basic right for all Timorese

The government, through its Strategic Development Plan, affirms that access to electricity is a basic right of all Timorese citizens and fundamental for economic development. The government set itself the ambitious target of universal access to reliable electricity 24 hours a day by the end of 2015.

Dramatic increases in access to electricity have already been seen; from around 22% in 2007, to 53% in 2013. However, this investment carries high costs of subsidies for diesel-generated electricity and some of the world’s highest rates of ‘hidden’ costs such as inadequate measurement of usage, as well as limited billing and payment.

A number of recommendations to address these concerns include measuring and billing for the electricity use, improving the efficiency of the diesel fuel used to power the generators, and diversifying electricity and energy sources.

Irrigation: key to the agriculture development and food supply

One objective of the Strategic Development Plan is for Timor-Leste to be self-sufficient in producing staple food items such as rice.

Having a well-functioning irrigation system is a key element for increasing domestic rice production and therefore vital to realizing this goal. Timor-Leste’s approach to irrigation is aimed at rehabilitating the existing river diversion irrigation systems that were first constructed during the Indonesian occupation. With little or no maintenance since then, many of these systems are no longer functional, and it is estimated it will cost the government approximately $10,000 per hectare to build and/or refurbish them; a high price even by international standards, and one that is unlikely to generate a high enough return on investment to justify it.

The review proposed an alternative, a ‘hybrid’ irrigation strategy, building on existing infrastructure, as well as investing in supplementary tube-well irrigation. It also highlighted the importance of developing local markets and providing support for farmers. While irrigation is critical, without any investment in linked inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, marketing assistance and facilities, the benefits of investing in irrigation infrastructure won’t be maximized.

The Public Expenditure Review of Infrastructure also demonstrates just how complex the planning and management of key infrastructure spending can be.

Investment in infrastructure is vital for Timor-Leste and it is important for the government to act on the review’s findings, spend money wisely, invest in quality projects with enough recurrent funding to keep them well maintained, and to work towards budget sustainability and greater returns for Timor-Leste and its citizens.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The First Woman Pilot of Ttimor Leste

Conquering the skies, the first woman pilot of Timor-Leste

Date : 09 September 2015
Cristina Amaral, Timor-Leste.
Imagine for a moment that you are stepping onto a plane. The flight attendant takes your ticket and guides you to your seat where you buckle your seatbelt and settle in. After the safety demonstration, you hear the female voice of your pilot as she announces that the plane is about to take off.
According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots in 2015, women account for only 32 per cent of the world’s pilots, making it unlikely to hear a female voice announcing that they will be flying you to your next destination. It is even more unlikely to hear a voice from Timor-Leste. Cristina Amaral chose to go against these odds, envisioning herself flying in the skies above her home country of Timor-Leste.
Growing up in the isolated district of Oeccuse, a coastal enclave, Amaral’s upbringing was deeply entrenched Timor-Leste’s history, fraught with stories of resistance against colonial powers and occupying forces. Women’s active role in the independence struggle and in peacebuilding efforts afterwards influenced her to pursue her goals in a predominantly male driven society, and gave her wisdom beyond her years.
However, the odds were still against her. Growing up as the eldest of five children, Amaral had to balance her responsibilities helping out at home with her desire to be at the top of her class. In a nation where only 21 per cent of girls are currently enrolled above grade eight, Amaral considers herself fortunate to have finished secondary school.
“My parents’ only expectation was that I should live a better life than the one they had lived,” said Amaral. “I had a lot of support from my family. Their support is my power.” Upon her graduation, she found the opportunity to pursue a pilot training programme through a government scholarship that was announced. She knew this was her way into the career she had been dreaming of since she was a girl. Demonstrating her academic prowess, she topped a series of tests and proved herself to be one of the nation’s best applicants, winning a full scholarship.
“I always dreamed of becoming a pilot because I saw it as a way to do something for my country,” she says. “Timor-Leste is a new nation, and we don’t have many pilots so I thought to myself, ‘I would love to do that to help with my country’s development.’ I chose to spend less time dwelling on masculine stereotypes, and more time working towards flying.”
But the challenges were many, as the flight course was to be given in the English language. Her struggle to grasp the nuances of the training due to the language barrier forced Amaral to move from her family home in Timor-Leste to Indonesia to attend flight school. She learned all of the most up to date techniques in aerospace management in one of her native languages.
Graduating in 2014 to become Timor-Leste’s first female pilot, she joined the small but growing number of women successfully entering aviation. “One of the things I love most about aviation is that you have to work like a family,” she said. Amaral encourages women and men to think outside of the male pilot stereotype and as she puts it, “when you jump into the cockpit, the plane doesn’t care if you are a woman or a man”.
When asked what advice she would give to other women and girls hoping to enter male-dominated fields, Amaral said, “I would love to encourage young girls, especially girls from my country. It can be a difficult, [but] as we all know, we must learn to walk before we can run. You must be brave, confident, and do everything you have to do to achieve your best and make your dreams come true".
- See more at:

Countries urged to commit to eliminating tropical diseases - See more at:

The Southeast Asia branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for renewed commitments to eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTD). 

The WHO claims that diseases such as kala azar, yaws and schistosomiasis have continued to disable, disfigure and kill people in Southeast Asia.

“Though called neglected diseases, these are [in fact the] diseases of people who are neglected, the poorest of the poor. Strong political commitments and renewed and focused efforts centered around the affected populations are needed to control, eliminate and eradicate these diseases,” said WHO Southeast Asia director Poonam Khetrapal Singh on Thursday while attending a meeting in Timor Leste with health ministry officials from across the region.

The WHO says early detection and appropriate treatment are the main strategies for eliminating the NTDs.

“Renewed efforts should seek multisectoral collaboration and engage the non-health sectors to address the various social determinants of NTDs,” Khetrapal Singh said.

Despite some progress, the WHO reports that leprosy continues to be endemic in all Southeast Asian countries. The region reported 73 percent of the cases globally in 2013.

Indonesia is one of six countries in Asia, along with India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka, that have a high number of leprosy cases. More than 1,000 new leprosy cases are reported annually.

Indonesia is very seriously affected by yaws. Timor-Leste and Indonesia are the only two countries in Southeast Asia reporting yaws cases.

Schistosomiasis persists in three isolated pockets of Indonesia. Geographical challenges, a lack of potable water and sanitary latrines in addition to a lack of awareness and inadequate efforts to control the parasite are major causes of the disease. (ebf)

- See more at:

Timor-Leste ends Q2 with over 1.25 million mobile users

Timor-Leste ends Q2 with over 1.25 million mobile users

Wednesday 9 September 2015 | 15:56 CET | News
Timor-Leste ended the second quarter of 2015 with 1.251 million mobile telephony customers, a drop of 7.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to figures published by the General Directorate for Statistics of the Ministry of Finance. Timor Telecom was market leader with 620,204 customers (624,312 in Q1), followed by Telemor with 470,370 (586,989) and Telkomcel with 160,000 (132,000). Timor Telecom also had 2,746 fixed telephony subscribers, down from 2,825 in March.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

MACC Signs MoU With Timor Leste, Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission

MACC Signs MoU With Timor Leste, Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Timor Leste Commission of Anti-Corruption (CAC) and the Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Prevention) Datuk Mustafar Ali said the MoUs covered cooperation in seven key areas including training courses, exchanging of expertise and advice on developing human resources, as well as exchange of information in preventing and combating corruption.

He said both parties also agreed to provide technical assistance in operations depending on their operational capabilities.

"To date, MACC has signed a total of 14 MoUs with other organisations and anti-corruption agencies to strengthen our operational capabilities," he said at the MoU signing ceremony in conjunction with the 16th International Anti- Corruption Conference (IACC) 2015, here today.

The signing was witnessed by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan.

MACC was represented by Mustafar, while the Timor Leste CAC was represented by its commissioner Aderito Antonio Pinto Tilman and Maldives ACC represented by its commissioner Sofwath Mohamed.


Russia 2018/UAE 2019 Qualifiers: Saudi Arabia 7-0 Timor-Leste

 Jeddah: (September 4, 2015)
 Bert van Marwijk’s reign as Saudi Arabia coach began in positive fashion on Thursday as the three-time Asian champions enjoyed a convincing 7-0 win over Timor Leste to join Gulf neighbours the UAE at the top of the Group A table.
Van Marjwik, who led his native Netherlands to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, had to wait just two mintes to see his new charges get their first competitive goal which came courtesy of Yahya Al Shehri before his Al Nassr team-mate Mohammed Al Sahlawi followed up his double in the 3-2 opening win over Palestinewith two in the space of three minutes at the King Abdullah Sports Centre Stadium.
Al Sahlawi’s first of the game came from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute and after the 28-year-old striker scored his second and Saudi Arabia’s third, further goals from Salman Al Faraj (30th) and Taiseer Al Jassam (32nd) gave the Green Falcons a commanding 5-0 lead at the interval.
Timor Leste held out until the 71st minute when Al Sahlawi completed his hat-trick to take his tally for the tournament to five goals in two matches before Fahad Al Muwallad sealed the win two minutes later.
Saudi Arabia’s campaign to reach the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time since 2006 continues on Tuesday when they take on a Malaysian side looking to pick themselves up after a humiliating 10-0 loss to the UAE, a victory that took the 2015 AFC Asian Cup semi-finalists to the top of the Group A standings ahead of the Saudis on goal difference.
The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.
Photo: AFP

Thursday, September 3, 2015





Peer Group of Timorese Facilitators and Trainers for Agro-Biodiversity (ABD) established by MAF, PERMATIL and GIZ/AMBERO

Extension Workers and key farmers jointly increase their facilitation skills for Agro-Biodiversity Management
The best and most committed extension workers and key farmers from past agrobiodiversity trainings and implementation have been selected by the project “Sustainable Management of Agro-Biodiversity in Timor-Leste”, implemented by the Ministry for Agriculture and Fishery (MAF), GIZ/AMBERO and the national NGO PERMATIL, to form a peer group of facilitators and trainers on agro-biodiversity for Timor-Leste.

In a three days training in Dare from 1. to 3. September 2015, participants became active trainers from the very first moment. Along with the new Agro-Biodiversity Training Modules and based on former trainings and implementation experience, both extension workers and farmers themselves facilitated the training sessions on principles of agro-biodiversity, local species and biodiversity-friendly farm practices, home gardens, demonstration plots, group leadership and the use of cash boxes. 

Facilitation skills were improved throughout the training by the fellow participants and the department head of Extension and community Development from MAF, Guilherme Quintao. Facilitator and developer of the training modules, Ego Lemos, from PERMATIL, coached the process, making participants familiar with the training modules and their inter-active use.

Ernesto Soares, farmer from Manelima, Manatuto, farmers group Ain Fatin, said: “ Hau apresia tebe-tebes tuir treino ne’e, aumenta konnesimento hodi atu sai treinador diak ida ba agro-biodiverisdade.” Guilherme Quintao, Department Head Extension and Community development in MAF, states that “all participants appreciated to learn facilitation skills for agro-biodiversity. The external facilitator created a familiar atmosphere, which made it easy for people to learn and to exchange”.

Ego Lemos mentioned that “with this training we can build knowledge and skills of farmers and extension workers to keep agrobiodiversity in Timor-Leste alive. There used to be many wild and domestic species and varieties around the world that produce food. But today agricultural development tends to focus on a few species only. This is threatening agrobiodiversity and the traditional knowledge of local people in every country including Timor-Leste”. 
Apart from the fact that the project could contribute to increase the significance of maintaining biodiversity in agriculture over the past 2,5 years, the experience also shows that not only extension workers, but also farmers can provide agricultural advisory services to fellow farmers. Farmer to farmer extension can be a complementary tool to public extension to increase farmers knowledge and skills and is a way of supporting self-help-initiatives.

For more information please contact:

Beate Quilitzsch-Schuchmann
Team Leader Promotion of sustainable Use of Agro-Biodiversity
M: +670-77133207
AMBERO-IP-NIRAS on behalf of Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


Guilherme Quintao
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
M: 78239924


Ego Lemos
M: 77257883

RGB still keen on acquiring stake in Timor Holdings

RGB still keen on acquiring stake in Timor Holdings

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang-based electronic gaming and amusement machines manufacturer RGB International Bhd, which is confident of achieving a sales target of 1,500 machines for 2015, is still interested in acquiring a stake in Timor Holdings Lda in order to gain a strong foothold in Timor-Leste.
Currently, RGB’s presence in Timor-Leste is through a concession of machines with Timor Holdings but it is focusing on distributing gaming machines in the country.
During an analysts briefing yesterday, RGB executive director Mazlan Ismail said the company will review the acquisition plan “when the time is right”.
To recap, RGB’s planned acquisition of a 30% stake in Timor Holdings fell through in July as Timor Holdings was unable to obtain the relevant gaming licence from the authorities. The acquisition would have given RGB a foothold in Timor-Leste’s gaming industry.
“We’re confident that eventually it will come through, just give us some time,” he added.
RGB COO Steven Lim (pix), who is one of the directors of Timor Holdings, said RGB is on track to achieve its sales target of 1,500 machines this year despite a moderate sales performance of only 387 machines sold for the first half of the year.
He explained that there are about 300 machines that are on trial at the moment, which are expected to be converted into actual sales in the second half.
“Definitely we’ll register better sales in the second half than first half,” he said.
Last year, RGB sold a total of 1,452 machines, translating into RM143.16 million in revenue under the sales and marketing division.
For the six months ended June 30, 2015, it reported a 17.66% increase in net profit to RM10.89 million against RM9.25 million in the same period last year. Its earnings jumped threefold from RM5.97 million to RM18.16 million in 2014......


Dili, Timor-Leste (3 Setembru 2015): Komunidade Suku Tapo/Memo, Aldeia Uluatin, Lepgen, no Pipgalag, agora bele asesu ona ba bee moos ne’ebé besik kedas komunidade nia uma, tanba hetan apoiu husi governu Australia liu husi programa BESIK (Bee, Saneamentu, no Ijiene iha Komunidade) hodi dada bee ba komunidade husi aldeia tolu refere. Antes komunidade sira ne’e hetan bee husi torneira públiku ida ne’ebé harii dezde Indonesia nia tempu, maibé bee ne’e ladún boot tanba kanu barak mak aat, nune’e mós torneira ne’e fasilita de’it bee ba parte balu husi Aldeia Lepgen. Maioria komunidade ba kuru bee iha mota ne’ebé sai hanesan fronteira Timor-Leste ho Indonesia. Loron-loron komunidade tenke gasta oras ida ba mai hodi ba kuru bee iha mota ne’e.

Xefe Suku Tapo/Memo, Gaspar de Jesus da Conçeição agradese ba Governu Australia tanba dada ona bee ba nia komunidade, “Agradese ba governu Australia ne’ebé fó apoiu boot ba komunidade aldeia Lepgen, Uluatin no Pipgalag hodi bele asesu ona ba bee moos. Agora ha’u nia komunidade sira sei la ba tan ona mota tanba bee besik tiha ona iha sira nia uma. Ha’u sei servisu hamutuk ho ami nia Grupu Maneja Fasilidade (GMF) no komunidade hotu atu kuidadu sistema bee ida ne’e ba to’o tempu naruk”.

Sistema bee moos ne’e fasilita bee ba komunidade hamutuk 3,127 husi uma kain 527, eskola 3, igreja, no sede suku Tapo/Memo. Totál orsamentu ba konstrusaun sistema bee moos ne’e mak $225,979.35.

Diretór Jerál Água no Saneamentu, João Jerónimo iha inaugurasaun bee moos iha Tapo/Memo ne’ebé hala’o iha 21 Agostu 2015, hatete: “Governu nia objetivu ka hakarak mak atu iha 2030, governu lakohi haree nia oan sira atu hi’it ka lalin tan bee, ida ne’e governu nia kometimentu. Atu implementa ida ne’e governu servisu hamutuk ho parseiru bara-barak hodi bele atinje objetivu ne’e”.

Nune’e mós Paul Regnault, Segundu Sekretáriu Dezenvolvimentu Rurál, husi Embaixada Australia iha Timor-Leste hatete: Fornesimentu bee rurál nu’udar prioridade importante ba Governu Timor-Leste no Governu Australia. Australia iha kometimentu naruk atu hadi’a asesu ba bee, no saneamentu no pratika ijiene iha área rurál iha Timor-Leste, fó suporta liu husi programa BESIK antes ukun-an. Kontribuisaun ida ne’e hanesan meius prátiku ida ne’ebé Povu Australia bele suporta Governu Timor-Leste hodi atinje Meta Dezenvolvimentu Estratéjiku atu fornese “Bee ba Ema Hotu” antes 2030.
Konstrusaun Sistema bee moos Suku Tapo/Memo implementa husi kompañia Nalo Bul, hahú husi Outubru 2014 to’o Jullu 2015. Fasilidade ne’ebé harii mak torneira públiku 42, tanke rezervatóriu 2, tanke redús presaun 2, tanke koleksaun 1, liña transmisaun 7.4 km, no liña distribuisaun 4.4 km.

Implementasaun projetu ne’e liu husi servisu hamutuk ema barak nian, programa BESIK, governu Timor-Leste lokál, kompañia Nalo Bul, servisu hamutuk ho GMF no autoridade lokál sira”, hatete Diretora Programa BESIK, Michelle Whalen. “Dezenvolvimentu ita haree la’o ba oin, bele haree iha Tapo/Memo imi la’o ba oin, iha eletrisidade, dalan, no bee. Ba sistema bee ne’ebé ohin ita inaugura, husu atu uza ho didi’ak no tenke kuidadu atu asegura sistema bee ne’e bele uza ba tempu naruk”.

Atu garante sustentabilidade bee moos ne’e ba oin komunidade Aldeia Lepgen, Pipgalag no Uluatin, konkorda ona atu uma kain ida-idak halo kontribuisaun $1.00 kada fulan ba iha sira nia GMF (Grupu Maneja Fasilidade) atu nune’e bele atende problema ruma ne’ebé iha relasaun ho sira nia bee moos.

Kona-ba BESIK
BESIK (Bee, Saneamentu no Ijiene iha Komunidade) mak Governu Australia nia programa ho fundus atu hadi’ak saúde no kualidade moris ema nian iha área rurál iha Timor-Leste laran. Programa ne’e suporta Governu Timor-Leste nia progresu atu atinje metas Objetivus Dezenvolvimentu Miléniu atu komunidade rurál sira hetan asesu sustentavel no ho ekuidade kona-ba abastesimentu bee, hadi’ak saneamentu no ijiene. BESIK servisu besik liu Ministerio das Obras Públicas, Transporte e Comunicação no Ministerio Saúde no mós ho ministerio no parseiru-setór (ajénsia internasionál, organizasaun naun-governamental (ONG), sentrus formasaun) no mós ho setór privadu. Faze agora ne’e hahú iha Setembru 2012; faze uluk implementa hosi 2007-2012. Atu hatene

English Translation


Dili, Timor-Leste (3 September 2015): The community of Suco Tapo/Memo, Aldeias of Uluatin, Lepgen and Pigalag, can now access safe water close to their homes, because of the Australian Government support through the BESIK Program (Bee, Saneamentu no Ijiene iha Komunidade) to build a piped water system for the three communities. Prior to the system being built, these communities accessed water froma single existing public tap that was built during the Indonesian occupation. However, the water available was insufficient to cover the entire community because many of the pipes were damaged, and the tap only supplied part of Aldeia Lepgen. The majority of the community used to collect water from a river along the border of Timor-Leste and Indonesia. The community members spent an hour to collect water each day.s

The Suco Chief of Tapo/Memo, Gaspar de Jesus Conceição, acknowledged the Australian Government for supplying the water system to the community, “I am grateful for the Australian Government for all the efforts in supporting the communities of Lepgen, Uluatin and Pipgalap to have access to safe water. From now on my people no longer need to go to the river to collect water because water has been brought close to our houses. I will work with the community and our Water Management Group (GMF) to  care for the system into the future”.   

The water system serves 3,127 community members, or 527 households, plus 3 schools, a church, and the Tapo/Memo Suco office. The total budget of the construction was $225,979.35.  

On the inauguration day of 21 August 2015, the Water and Sanitation Director General João Jerónimo stated: “The Government’s goal by 2030 is that Timor-Leste’s people will not have to continue spending their time collecting water, this is the government commitment. The government together with its counterparts will be working hard to achieve this objective”.   

Paul Regnault, Second Secretary for Rural Development at the Australian Embassy in Timor-Leste added: “Rural water supply is a key priority for both the Government of Timor-Leste and the Australian Government. Australia has a long-term commitment to improve access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in Timor-Leste’s rural areas, delivering support through the BESIK program since before independence. This contribution is but one practical way that the people of Australia can support the Government of Timor-Leste to achieve its strategic development goal to supply “water to everybody” by 2030.
The construction of the Tapo/Memo water system was carried out by Nalo Bul Company from October 2014 to July 2015. The facilities included 42 public tap-stands, 2 reservoir tanks, 2 pressure reduction tanks, 1 collection tank, 7.4 km of transmission line and 4.4 km of distribution line.  

“This project was completed because many stakeholders worked together – BESIK, Government of Timor-Leste – both national and municipal, the Nalo Bul company, and the community authorities” said BESIK Program Director, Michelle Whalen. “Development is about progress – moving forward. We can see development in Tapo Memo – you have access to electricity, a good road and now water.  Only if you look after your water system, support the GMF to do the maintenance and repairs, will you be able to continue to progress and even improve your access to water.”  

To guarantee the water supply sustainability for the future, Aldeia Lepgen, Pipgalag and Uluatin, agreed to contribute $1.00 per month from each household to their GMF to respond to any issues related to their water system.

BESIK (Bee, Saneamentu no Ijiene iha Komunidade) is an Australian Government funded program aimed at improving the health and quality of life of people living in rural areas across Timor-Leste. The program supports Government of Timor-Leste's progress towards 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets so that rural communities will have sustainable and equitable access to safe water supply, improved sanitation and hygiene. BESIK works with the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication and the Ministry of Health, as well as other Ministries, international agencies, non-government organisations, training institutions and with the private sector. The current phase commenced in September 2012; a previous phase was implemented from 2007-2012. For more information:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Health Ministers to Discuss Asia's Biggest Problems

Jakarta. Health ministers from across Asia will meet in Dili, Timor Leste, next week to discuss a wide range of issues affecting health in the continent, including disaster mitigation, outbreak prevention and the elimination of certain communicable diseases.
The conference will host ministers from 11 countries, including Indonesia, from Sept. 7 to 11. A focus on tobacco control will likely put Indonesia, a haven for smokers, in the spotlight.
Indonesia has one of world's lowest cigarette prices, making them easily accessible to the poor and children. The country has not ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control despite strong international pressure.
The meeting will also discuss the elimination of tropical diseases and small pox, polio and rubella, as well as efforts to prevent tuberculosis and various forms of cancer. Strategies to implement universal health coverage is also on the agenda.
Indonesia and host nation Timor Leste will be joined by delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Officials from the World Health Organization are expected to attend as well.

President of Timor-Leste begins first official visit to China

President of Timor-Leste begins first official visit to China

The President of Timor-Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, begins today Tuesday his first official visit to China, during which various meetings and ceremonies will take place, indicates a statement released on Monday in Dili.

Taur Matan Ruak will remain in China until 5 September. He is accompanied by Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Hernâni Coelho and other high-ranking officials.

The statement released by the president’s office explained that the visit aims to “thank China for having been the first country to recognise the declaration of independence of Timor-Leste (East Timor) on 28 November 1975 and to establish diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste when independence was restored on 20 May 2002.”

During the visit the president also aims to thank China for its “contribution to the development of Timor-Leste and to enhance cooperation between the two countries.” That cooperation can be augmented “in the scope of the New Silk Route, given Timor-Leste’s strategic geographic location in the Asia/Pacific region.”

Taur Matan Ruak also plans to invite Chinese leaders to take part this coming 28 November in commemorations of the 40th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s declaration of independence, to be held in the Oecusse enclave. (Macauhub/CN/TL)