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As part of EWB’s emergency response to the catastrophic April floods in Timor-Leste,  EWB worked with Oxfam Timor-Leste, teaming up with Feto Enginhera (Women in Engineering) to coordinate clean water and sanitation initiatives to flood-affected communities of Hera.

In June, the team visited the flood-affected community of Hera and residents at the local evacuation centres to examine the extent of the damage experienced by the community. The main challenges experienced by residents was limited access to clean water as well as inadequate sanitation. This was particularly concerning for the most vulnerable in community including people living with disabilities.

Clean water following the floods

EWB Australia distributing Abundant Water filtration units to residents

One of six water carts designed by EWB Australia and Feto Enginhera 

In response, EWB distributed Abundant Water ceramic water filtration units to residents living in Hera and the sub-villages of Ailok Laran and Mota Ki’ik. The water filtration units provided clean drinking water to 100 households, eliminating the need for residents to boil water prior to drinking and reducing the need to buy firewood. EWB ran training with the local community to ensure they could independently operate and maintain the water filtration units.

In addition to the distribution of water filtration units, EWB and Feto Enginhera designed and distributed six water carts for residents living in Ailok Laran and Mota Ki’ik. The water carts will enable households to collect and transport water over long distances, whilst also providing street vendors the opportunity to use the water carts for their business. 

Accessible sanitation

Limited access to safe and dignified sanitation was another issue experienced by flood-affected residents. Following consultation with residents living in two of the evacuation centres, EWB partnered with Feto Enginhera and disability advocacy organisation RHTO to install four accessible toilets in Ailok Laran and Mota Ki’ik for people living with disabilities. 

Berta Fernandes and her family outside one of four accessible toilets installed in in Mota Ki’ik, Timor-Leste

This project was funded by Oxfam Timor-Leste and supported by Feto Enginhera and Ra’es Hadomi Timor Oan.

EWB Australia’s work in Timor-Leste receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

If you would like to support EWB’s work with communities overseas, please donate here.