The community of Daulala sub-village, Fahirai village, Aileu district, has lived without access to clean water since 2002.

Fahirai’s village chief, Luis Nemao said the community uses water from the river for drinking, to cook, to bathe and to wash clothes.

He added in 2002, NGO Care International installed water pumps to pump water to the sub-village but the pumps broke down and have to been replaced until now.

“The sub-village sits on top [of a hill] so we have to walk very far to fetch water from the river,” said Village Chief Luis Nemao.

He said also he already submitted a proposal to the Secretary of State for Water and Sanitation (SEAS) but so far they have not received feedback.

“The proposal was submitted many times but there has been no change,” Chief Nemao said.

In response to this concern Minister of Public Works (MOP), Gastao de Sousa said currently the SEAS is undertaking a viability study on clean water management across Dili first.

“We can see we have much water but why it is still not enough to service the whole population” asked Minister Sousa.

He added once the Dili viability study has been conducted and demonstrated good ways forward it will be implemented in the other districts including in the villages and sub-villages of the country.