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POLITICS, NATIONAL, DILI

General Assembly: MPW addresses government efforts to define “access to clean water and sanitation”

General Assembly: MPW addresses government efforts to define “access to clean water and sanitation”

DILI, 25 march 2021 (TATOLI)—The Minister of Public Work (MPW), Salvador Eugênio Soares dos Reis Pires, representing the Government of Timor-Leste made a recorded intervention in the High-Level Meeting towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal No. 6. clean water and sanitation targeting by 2030.

The global forum is realized on march 18 to 22, in the hearing of the pre-recorder statement from the state members, took place in the United Nation Oganization Headquarter, in New York.

Addressing the Forum, Minister Salvador highlights the Government efforts including current ongoing projects, necessary legislation, challenges and recommendations similar to other countries.

“Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan outlines its aspirations to create a prosperous and strong nation. The plan identifies a target that by 2030 all citizens will have access to clean water and good sanitation. We have made significant progress over the years.” Minister Pires said during his intervention, following the statement underline in the document that Tatoli accessed on Thursday.

Pires said, the 8th Constitutional Government, led by His Excellency Taur Matan Ruak, sets “access to clean water” as one of its top priorities.

Thus Government’s five-year plan identifies the investment needs for water supply and sanitation and the necessary legislations for the sector institutional development.

He said, in 2015 census data showed that access to improved water supply in urban areas was 92% and 75% across the country. Access to sanitation also improved, around 81% in urban and 62% in rural.

“The Government recently enacted several decree laws and regulations such as: The National Public Water Supply Policy; The National Water Resource Management Policy; The Decree Law for Quality Control of Water for Human Consumption and established a national public utility and a regulatory body for water and sanitation endowed with administrative, judicial and financial autonomia,” He said.

Hence, the Government also invests significantly in the water sector. Out of 12 municipalities, two improved integrated water supply systems were constructed. Detailed engineering designs and master plans studies are being conducted for remaining municipalities for immediate future implementation.

The estimated investment for the improved integrated water supply and the sanitation cost over $1.3 billion dollars for a ten-year-period.

In response to Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Pires said, the Government together with its development partners provide water in public facilities.

“Despite the progress, many challenges still lay ahead, due to inadequate infrastructures, the effects of climate change, quality and reliability of services are still below expectation due to lack of; resources, investment, legal framework and rigid bureaucracy, lack of community awareness on water usage and water resource protection,” he said.

Timor-Leste had stablished integrated water sector development plan to ensure that no one is left behind. Implementing institutional reform and development to facilitate a prompt response to public needs.

He said Covid-19 has affected all water related activities but it is important to continue working closely with development partners to provide water accessibility to the population.

 

Journalist:  Florêncio Miranda Ximenes

Editor: Julia Chatarina

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