Australian Government assistance to Timor-Leste’s rural communities in water, sanitation and hygiene has been delivered through three phases of support since 2002 and has transformed peoples’ lives. Australia’s support through the BESIK (Bee, Saneamentu no Ijiene iha Komunidade) programme concluded on 30 June 2016.
BESIK’s goal was to improve the health and quality of life of people living in rural areas by supporting the Government of Timor-Leste to develop sustainable rural water supply and sanitation services.
For highly industrialised countries, water and toilet facilities are taken for granted. For people living in rural areas of Timor-Leste, even very basic facilities are a major step forward. BESIK support for community facilities included delivering simple concrete tap stands or basic pit latrines to stop open defecation. In some cases, something as simple as a jerry can hanging from bamboo enabled a young, nursing mother to wash her hands with soap.
Through Australia’s support, about 164,000 people benefited from the supply of upgraded water and sanitation systems and 139,000 people received improvements in sanitation or hygiene practices.
Number of people in Timor Leste benefiting as a result of the three-phase BESIK programme
Australia’s support over the three phases since 2002 has been managed by Aurecon. With the completion of BESIK, however, Aurecon has concluded its role as managing contractor.
Future support in water and sanitation will be explored through the new Australia Timor-Leste Partnership for Human Development (ATLPHD). The ATLPHD is a five-year programme commencing in July 2016 through which the Australian Government will work with Timor-Leste across a range of sectors, including health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation, disability and social protection.
Further information about Australian Government support to Timor-Leste can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.