Water Access, Ostico | Timor-Leste

Water Access, Ostico

Partner | Fundacao Loreto Timor-Leste

Location | Ostico, Timor-Leste


Over the past four years, the Loreto Sisters have been working with the Ostico community on a range of initiatives that promote their fundamental human rights. This new project focuses on providing the village with an accessible source of clean water, firmly aligning it with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 – to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The project builds on previous initiatives, including the 2019 Agri-business project. Through this project, the townspeople identified the need for improved water access for the farming community and the town itself.

In late 2021, the local community assisted in locating an underground stream and constructing a bore. The village now turns its attention to setting up a series of tanks and pipes to distribute the water throughout the town.


Locating a reliable water source in Ostico was the first significant challenge to be addressed. While a plentiful water supply flows under the Ostico village, it can be difficult to tap because the town sits upon a limestone plateau. Now that the water source has been found and the bore constructed, the project faces new challenges relating to water distribution, accessibility, and system maintenance, all critical to the project’s long-term success.

Under the leadership of the Xefi Suko and the Ostico Water Oversight Group, the community met and agreed on several measures to ensure the project’s ongoing sustainability. One such measure is establishing a fund used to maintain the water tanks and distribution pipes. Each household with access to the water will contribute to the fund, thus promoting a sense of local ownership and engagement.

Furthermore, MWIA has provided additional funding to improve the long-term accessibility of water for the women of Ostico.


Through this initiative, approximately 500 families living in Ostico will have access to clean water near their homes.

Importantly, this project will have a major impact on women and girls who currently access water from a contaminated stream about two kilometres from home. Each day, these women and girls cart approximately two dozen plastic bottles to the stream, fill each bottle, and then carry them home along a dirt road. Once home, they then need to boil the water before it can be used. This process alone can take many hours per day.

  • Build a water tower and install a pump to raise the water from the bore, which will be stored in a large (5,000 litre) tank.
  • Place a series of smaller (2,000 litre) tanks among the houses to make the water accessible to families.
  • Connect piping from the large to the smaller tanks to facilitate water flow.