In early 2017, Willoughby Friends of Ossu members visited Timor-Leste to plan for Stage 1 of the WASH Clean Water Project.
2017’s Timor trip started months before its departure. There were many exchanges of emails and telephone calls trying to answer the big question whether our plan for WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) with WaterAid would really happen.
Morning in Dili – a meeting with WaterAid – and it’s all systems go
But hold on – now we have to talk to people in Ossu. Willoughby Friends of Ossu organisers Umbelina Rodrigues in Dili and Memensio Freitas in Ossu have it covered.
First day in Ossu – time to see Administrator Augusto de Sousa
Interpreter Maria Guterres, Rosemary and Administrator Augusto de Sousa.
Involving the Community
WaterAid have indicated that for the WASH project to be successful it is essential to have the support of the local Ossu community. The Administrator and Father Evaristo call in the local notables.
The Administrator (left) and next to him Willoughby Friends of Ossu’s Memensio Freitas leading the discussion. It’s good to see Memensio is running the meeting.
Multiple people have previously expressed concern that if money is invested in new systems but not in their management, the result will be the same situation: dry and useless infrastructure. WaterAid sees the establishment of effective management structures as a crucial issue to be resolved alongside any infrastructure works, in order to ensure their sustainability.
Rosemary spells out the WASH plan. People ask questions and raise alternatives, but…the decision is made: Ossu WaSH Project gets 100% community backing.