Safer, faster and more reliable travel becoming a reality with World Bank support
Dili, August 26, 2016 – The upgraded Halilaran – Laulara Road was officially opened today by the Minister of Public Works Transport and Communications, H.E. Gastao F. De Sousa and World Bank Country Representative, Bolormaa Amgaabazar.
The completion of the first section of the 110km Dili to Ainaro Road project is an important milestone in one of the most significant transport projects ever undertaken in Timor-Leste, and will help to ensure safer, faster and more reliable travel between the North and the South of the country -- connecting the districts of Dili, Aileu and Ainaro, which jointly account for a third of the country’s population.
“Building a better road network is giving more access to services and markets for people in many rural areas,” said Timor-Leste’s Minister for Public Works Transport and Communications, H.E. Gastao F. De Sousa. “The project will positively impact the economic development and welfare of the Timorese nation, especially rural populations who are often cut off from opportunities by the lack of the most basic infrastructure”.
Timor-Leste is vulnerable to extreme weather with heavy rain and landslides damaging roads and bridges, and accelerating wear and tear on vital infrastructure. The Dili to Ainaro roadworks feature improved drainage, construction or reinforcement of slope stabilization, and pavement rehabilitation and were done with a focus on future resilience to the effects of weather and natural hazards. In addition to the road construction, the World Bank is working with the United Nations Development Program to equip local communities with the skills and knowledge to better manage the effects of natural disasters and weather events along the Dili-Ainaro Road Corridor.
“The rehabilitation of the 110km road corridor from Dili to Ainaro, is about creating a safer, more resilient transport route – one of the most frequently-travelled in the country,” said Bolormaa Amgaabazar, World Bank Country Representative. “It’s about making the road more resilient to weather events, landslides and floods.”
The project is being implemented by the Timor-Leste Ministry of Public Works, and is financed with US$60.0 million from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) (made up of a Credit of US$25.0 million and a US$20.0 million Grant), and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (US$15.0 million). The Government of Timor-Leste will contribute US$50.0 million to the project. The Government of Timor-Leste has requested additional funds to rehabilitate the 22.6 km road from Laulara to Solerema and road construction is ongoing between Solerema and Bandudatu, from Bandudatu to Aituto, and between Aituto and Ainaro.