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May 07

WEBEREK Opening Ceremony – 12th of October 2011 – PRESS RELEASE

Rural Development Program III (RDP3)

• Funder: European Union
• Total budget: 13 millions USD (10 millions Euros)
• Duration: 4,5 years
• Period of implementation: 2009-2013
• Location: MANUFAHI District
• Number of people benefiting from RDP3: more than 30.000 people
>> 500 pilot farmers and families + other indirect beneficiaries

For several years, RDTL Government and the European Union have collaborated on programs to reduce poverty levels and support socio-economic development, especially aimed at the most disadvantaged rural areas of Timor-Leste.

Focused on the Manufahi District, RDP III provides -through European Union funds, a package of 10 million Euros over a 4,5 year period in support of the work of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Infrastructure. Started in 2009, the project aims to increase agricultural production, improve community and individual citizen services, rehabilitate roads & irrigation infrastructure, and reinforce public service capacities at central and local levels for more than 30.000 people of Manufahi District.

During the first 2 years of the program, projects have been implemented in selected aldeias of Manufahi District to achieve measured and sustainable results in cooperation with 500 chosen farmers and other indirect beneficiaries. Within the final 2 years, these achievements will be extended to other aldeias through exchanges between farmers, public information campaigns, and by Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery staff.

In order to achieve the European Union rural development targets, two essential conditions were agreed to complete this program: the extension approach (exchange, information & support), which makes activities more readily understandable and accessible to local farmers, and Public service capacity-building to ensure the sustainability of the works undertaken. As most projects are implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery extension staff, they are supported and trained under the RDP III program to maximize the sustainability of the overall intervention. Moreover, a Technical Assistance team is working as counterparts with local staff, to jointly and progressively build on the achievements of this huge and potentially far-reaching program.

RDP3 Roads component

• Roads rehabilitation within RDP3 programme: 55 km of National Road under maintenance and 45 km of District and Rural Roads improved and maintained.

• Total mainly roads + irrigation budget: 3.7 million Euros (4.9 million USD)

• Number of people benefiting from roads: around 25.000 people
>> As a very large proportion of Manufahi population use the National Road

Weberek road rehabilitation

As a target of European Union rural development support to Timor-Leste and as a component of RDP3 programme, the roads strategy is to support rural areas development trough access along strategic roads with cost effective measures at sites that are difficult, dangerous or impassable, and then maintain that access with effective maintenance.

The Weberek road is a 6.25 km rural road from the national road along the south coast, between the town of Dotic on the south coast national road and the village of Weberek. Most of the road is a previously-constructed bitumen sealed road, which has required minor repair and heavy maintenance.

Around 10 years ago, a 700 m length of the road collapsed under a landslide. The community formed a temporary route above the landslide but because of the steep gradient and the lack of surfacing, this route was in poor condition and extremely difficult, even for horses, when wet. Trucks, buses or simple motorbikes faced big problems to use the road for several years.

The RDP3 work on the road has included heavy maintenance of the road, construction of drainage, an improved stone surfacing along the temporary route and a new culvert at the entrance of Weberek. The work has been carried out by “Mukum Brother Unipessoal” and “Aplayana Unipessoal”; two Manufahi based contractors and supervised by RDP3 supervisors with occasional monitoring by the MoI District Supervisor.

Identified as a priority by District Administrator and other local representatives, this project is particularly relevant as Aldeia Weberek is a significant agricultural area. Around 200
households will benefit from this new road, and this will improve access to education, health, and agriculture services into Suco Dotic.

The purpose of the inauguration on the 12th of October 2011 is to celebrate the opening of the road with all the stakeholders who participated in the project. It is also the opportunity to see a preview of the concrete results of the RDP3 funded by the European Union.

For more information, please contact
Sra Marlene Hyvert – 774 6475 – mhyvert@yahoo.fr
Sra Aurelia Prego – 742 49 34 – aureliaprego@yahoo.com.au