DILI, 28 december 2021 (TATOLI) – Minister of State Administration (MoSA), Miguel Pereira de Carvalho had informed that the government will officially declare Atauro Island as a new municipality in january 2022.
Atauro is a small island situated 25 km north of Dili, Timor-Leste, on the extinct Wetar segment of the volcanic Inner Banda Arc, between the Indonesian islands of Alor and Wetar.
Currently, it comprises one of the Administrative Posts of the Dili Municipality of Timor-Leste. It is about 25 km long and 9 km wide, about 140.1 km2 in area, and had 9,274 inhabitants at the 2015 Census.
The establishment of Atauro Island as the new municipality began with appointing the first administrator and the public officials.
“In January 2022, the Council of Ministers will issue a government resolution to appoint the first president authority of the Atauro Island. This administrator would implement the activities based on Government 2022 financial plan for the island as a new municipality,” Carvalho told reporters after meeting Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, in Dili, on tuesday.
Atauro will become the first and only island municipality after the government upgraded it from administrative post status.
It is believed that that the decision on creating the island as the new municipality would open doors for development.
Thus, next year, Autauro itself would manage its 2022 General State Budget approved by the National Parliament, totaling US$2.5 million. In addition, the authority of the island will also cooperate with the Special Development Fund Board to manage the allocated budget of US$13 million for socioeconomic development in Atauro Island as a new municipality, Carvalho explained.
He said the technical part had concluded the design of the building for the Atauro municipal office.
“Special Development Fund Board will conduct a meeting to approve the design of the building, which will pave way for Timor-Leste National Procurement Commission to open tender for the construction of the building of Atauro municipal office,” said Carvalho.
Boosting socioeconomic development as well as developing an ecotourism industry will lead Atauro to become a visible tourist destination in the future.
The region features thriving reefs with easy access right from the shore, exciting deep water sites with plunging walls and endless visibility, and cool encounters with migrating marine mammals.
Journalist: Filomeno Martins
Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario