$47 Million ADB Loan to Provide Safe, Reliable, and Affordable Water Supply and Sanitation Services in Timor-Leste

Manila: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $47 million loan to help the Government of Timor-Leste provide safe, reliable, and affordable water supply and sanitation services to about 62,000 people living in Lospalos, Viqueque, and Same.

The project will be cofinanced by a $3 million grant from the Global Environment Facility, which ADB will administer. The grant will finance the purchase of water meters, control systems, and other equipment, as well as consulting services aimed to strengthen the project’s climate resilience.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Investment Project will finance the construction of new facilities for water supply and sanitation services, including 14 water reservoirs and 7 water treatment plants. It will also help rehabilitate and expand 130 kilometers of the area’s water distribution network, install water meters for 10,000 households, and build 12 public toilets and 3 septage treatment facilities.

“A growing population is putting pressure on existing water sources and supply services in the three cities, which are operating beyond capacity,” said ADB Country Director for Timor-Leste Sunil Mitra. “The project will make the cities more livable by building infrastructure to provide safe water and sanitation services and strengthening governance and institutional capacity. It will boost women’s participation in the water sector by providing training and developing a customer-service feedback mechanism. The project will also help reduce poverty and inequality by installing free water connections for women, the poor, and vulnerable groups.”

The urban population of Timor-Leste has increased 4.2% every year since 2008. Only 34% of the urban population had access to a piped water supply network as of 2015, and the water supply remains unreliable.

The project will help the Ministry of Public Works, the Municipal Water, Sanitation, and Environment Services, and the new state-owned water utility, Bee Timor-Leste (BTL) plan, deliver, operate, and maintain the country’s water supply and sanitation infrastructure in the long run. It will create a socially and gender-inclusive institutional development road map to guide the transfer of urban water supply and sanitation services to BTL.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.