Atauro Island is a 2-hour boat journey from Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital. It is small, only slightly larger than Phillip Island in Melbourne, and home to about 10,000 people. The island is characterised by a mountainous landscape and a distinct lack of fresh-water rivers or lakes. Community water sources are mostly supplied through fresh-water springs and intermittent rain events and are often poor quality.
Abundant Water (AW) in partnership with FOKUPERS made an initial visit to Atauro early this year to conduct community workshops and build vendor networks. During the workshops much of the community expressed interest in purchasing a filter once available.
The team recently returned to the Island to check in with vendors. Emi Alves, who attended our recent vendor training, is now an enthusiastic representative of AW in Atauro. She has been collecting monitoring and evaluation surveys for AW in addition to distributing filters. Emi joined the AW team to visit vendors along the east coast.
Mariano da Cruz, President of the Atauro Fishing Co-operative, was the first person to purchase a filter from Abundant Water in Timor-Leste. Since then the co-operative has purchased 131 filters to distribute throughout Atauro. Mariano lives in Bikeli, a small coastal village in the north of the Island.
A windy coast road connects Bikeli to Beloi, one of the main towns in Atauro. Here, vendor Sabina Ximenes is working to deliver ceramic filters to the local community.
Vila lies further south and marks the end of the coast road. AW visited vendor Carlos du Carmo here to check in on his progress.
The initial community engagement conducted in Atauro earlier this year has proved successful in establishing distribution networks and increasing community awareness.
Our vendor partners use their local knowledge and connections to ensure the filters reach more people every day, adding to the 5000 Timorese already benefiting from clean water provided by our filters.