Australia-East Timor Community Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (CWSSP), Timor-Leste

As part of a long term engagement in the Watsan sector by the Australian Government in East Timor, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade–Australian Aid funded CWSSP aimed to improve rural health by increasing access to clean water, sanitation and environmental health awareness. The programme contracted local non-government organisations (NGOs), community based organisations (CBOs) and contractors to mobilise communities to improve health awareness and construct and manage a rural water supply and sanitation infrastructure. IDSS, Aurecon’s International Development Assistance business, was responsible for achieving all project milestones.

IDSS’s role as managing contractor included liaising with counterparts and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade–Australian Aid, setting programme direction, managing and supporting 40 in-country personnel, and providing financial management. IDSS sourced and mobilised 14 long-term advisors and 16 short-term specialists and operated a trust account for the management of grant funds.

In addition, IDSS assisted the implementation of the CWSSP in three districts. In total, 59 946 people gained access to safe water supplies and 11,964 to improved sanitation. CWSSP implemented 96 community sub-projects to improve average coverage in these districts by 40 per cent for water supply, and 9 per cent for sanitation. Successful outcomes of the project included, amongst others:

  • Development of participatory processes for district planning and community mobilisation, which have been adopted by DNAS for use by all development partners in the sector
  • Development of community capacity to plan, implement and manage water supply and sanitation (WSS) infrastructure, with 85 community management groups effectively maintaining their own systems
  • Development of government capacity to manage the sector, including the development of national technical guidelines
  • Continued participation of 30 local NGOs working in the sector with the skills, resources and organisational capacity to deliver rural services
  • Increased environmental health awareness, with messages developed by CWSSP and the Ministry of Health being delivered nationally.
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