publication May 15, 2018

New Report on Timor-Leste’s Water Sector Can Guide Future Investments

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Women collecting water from an unprotected source

Image: UN Women


In 2002, after decades of conflict, the newly independent Timor-Leste was left with almost 90% of infrastructure destroyed. The government has since made efforts to rebuild roads, health facilities and irrigation systems, however water supply infrastructure for domestic, sanitation and industrial needs are still underdeveloped and require substantial investment. This report highlights key priority areas in the water sector and identifies potential investment options to achieve the government’s strategic development goals.


Key Findings

  • Investing in Timor-Leste’s water sector will have a significant positive impact on the economy by improving access to safe, reliable and sustainable water supplies for communities, industry, commerce and agriculture.
  • Timor-Leste met its Millennium Development Goal for urban areas, with 91 percent having access to an improved water supply and 73 percent with access to improved sanitation facilities. Efficiency of service remains the biggest challenge for urban water supply.
  • In rural areas only 60 percent have access to an improved water supply and 30 percent have access to improved sanitation facilities. 7 percent of rural households travel more than 30 minutes to collect water from an improved source and 32 percent have no access to an improved water source.