Thousands of people in Dili Municipality to benefit from a European Union and UNICEF supported sanitation project

19 February 2020
Thousands of people in Dili Municipality to benefit from a European Union and UNICEF supported sanitation project
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2020/Monemnasi

DILI. 19 February 2020: A United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), European Union (EU) and Ministry of Health (MOH) partnership to improve sanitation at household level is being launched today in the city and suburbs of Dili. This strategy, known as Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), will benefit over 270,000 people across the municipality in 2020. The CLTS strategy being launched today in collaboration with the Dili Municipality and Ministry of Health, and funded by the European Union through UNICEF, would help accelerate progress toward the national goal of making Timor-Leste Open-Defecation-Free by the end of 2020.   

The project will be implemented in the 36 Sucos and 241 aldeias making up Dili Municipality.

The launch of the CLTS strategy in Dili will trigger activities both at institutional and community level. This would include community engagement to help them identify hazards of faecal contamination on water and food sources and its impact on the health of children and community members, in a bid to drive community-led actions to end open defecation, switch to the use of latrines and drastically reduce contamination. Mother Support Groups will also be established to assist in promoting these key care practices and ensure the sustainability of healthy behaviour and practices in the community. 

"The European Union is pleased to join hands with the Dili Municipaility, the Ministry of Health, and UNICEF, and to make this very important initiative possible through our financing. We support the implementation of Timor-Leste's strong national policies to reduce malnutrition and are delighted to back this total sanitation strategy at the municipality level. It will make a huge difference to Dili residents' health, particularly that of children”, said Andrew Jacobs, Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste.

Recently the CLTS strategy was launched by the MOH, UNICEF, and the European Union in Baucau and Manatuto Municipalities in January 2020, with support from the European Union. Similar actions to those planned for Dili are already underway in these two municipalities, and many others. Dili, Baucau and Manatuto municipalities are the only ones which have not previously benefited from CLTS focused support. 

“Studies have shown that ending open-defecation reduces disease and illness, or even death, and that, children who live in a house with a toilet are at lower risk of being stunted. CLTS is a simple and extremely effective strategy that hinges on positive behaviour change by communities who are convinced that open defecation leads to contamination and disease, and make that crucial change to end open defecation” says Valerie Taton, UNICEF Representative. 

Jeca Smith, Vice President Authority of Dili Municipality; Dr. Odete da Silva Viegas, Director General of Health Services-Ministry of Health; Andrew Jacobs, the EU Ambassador in Timor-Leste, and; Ms Valérie Taton, UNICEF Representative in Timor-Leste took part in the launch event in Dili.

The ceremony was organised and facilitated by the President Authority, and Director of Dili Municipality’s Health Services. Thirty-six Suco Chiefs, six Administrators of Administrative Posts, six Community Health Centre (CHC) Managers, and representatives of relevant institutions, partners and community leaders also participated in the launch event.  

Lack of access to sanitation has real human costs leading to diseases, malnutrition and premature deaths. Recent studies and analysis show a strong link between open defecation and childhood stunting, which has an impact on cognitive development and future economic productivity. In Timor-Leste, respiratory and diarrheal diseases remain the top two causes of infant and child mortality, both of which are strongly linked to inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices. 

“We need to accelerate the protection of the health and nutrition status of our children through promoting such high impact, evidence-based and low-cost interventions” said Dr Odete Da Silva Viegas, the Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health.  

Six of Timor-Leste’s municipalities have already been declared open defecation free. UNICEF has assisted 110 Sucos to be declared Open Defecation Free, benefiting 238,635 people and 40,956 households in 526 Aldeias. 

For more information, please contact:

Ministry of Health, Government of Timor-Leste:
José Moniz, Chief of Environmental Health, Ministry of Health
Phone: +670 78258529; Email:

European Union:
Marina Rini, Communication Officer, European Union in Timor-Leste

UNICEF Timor-Leste:
Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Timor-Leste (English queries). Phone: +670-7723 1103 Email: 

Antonio Gomes, Communication Officer, UNICEF Timor-Leste (Tetum queries)
Phone: +670-7723 2441 Email:


Ema rihun ba rihun iha munisipiu Dili hetan benefisiu husi Uniaun Europeia no UNICEF nia apoiu liu-husi projetu saneamentu

DILI, 19 Fevereiru 2020: Fundus Nasoins Unidas ba Labarik (UNICEF), Uniaun Europeia (UE) ho Ministeriu Saúde (MdS) lansa ohin parseria ida ba melloramentu saneamentu iha nivel uma-kain iha sidade no sidade Dili-nia ninin sira. Estratejia ne’e koñesidu hanesan Planu Asaun Komunidade ba Saneamentu no Ijiene (PAKSI), sei benefisia ema 270.000 iha munisipiu laran tomak iha 2020. Estratejia PAKSI ne’e lansa ona ohin loron liu husi kolaborasaun husi Munisipiu Dili no Ministeriu Saúde, no finansia husi Uniaun Europeia liu husi UNICEF, sei ajuda aselera progresu meta nasional hodi halo Timor-Leste livre husi So’e Foer-bo’ot Arbiru iha tinan 2020.

Projetu ne’e sei implementa iha suku 36 no aldeia 241 iha munisipiu Dili.

Lansamentu estratejia PAKSI iha Dili ne’e sei motiva atividade sira iha nivel institusional no komunidade. Ida ne’e inklui mós involvimentu komunidade atu ajuda sira identifika risku kontaminasaun foer-bo’ot ba bee no fonte ai-han sira ho nia impaktu ba labarik no membru komunidade sira-nia saúde, iha tentativa ida atu halais asaun lideradu husi komunidade hodi hapara so’e foer-bo’ot arbiru, muda ba uza sintina no reduz drastikamente kontaminasaun. 

“Uniaun Europeia kontente atu servisu hamutuk ho Munisipiu Dili, Ministeriu Saúde no UNICEF, no atu halo inisiativa importante ne’e posivel liu husi finansiamentu. Ita apoia Timor-Leste nia implementasaun politika forte sira hodi reduz malnutrisaun no prontu apoia estratejia saneamentu iha nivel munisipiu. Ne’e sei halo diferensa bo’ot ba rezidente sira iha Dili nia saúde partikularmente ba labarik sira,” dehan Andrew Jacobs, Embaxador Uniaun Europeia iha Timor-Leste.

Estratejia ne’e resentemente lansa tiha ona husi Ministeriu Saúde, UNICEF no Uniaun Europeia iha munispiu Baucau no Manatuto iha fulan Janeiru 2020 ho apoiu husi Uniaun Europeia. Asaun hanesan ba planu sira iha Dili hala'o tiha ona iha munisipiu rua no sira seluk. Munisipiu Dili, Baucau no Manatuto mak munisipiu sira ne’ebe seidauk hetan benefisiu husi apoiu foka ba PAKSI.   

“Estudu hatudu katak hapara so’e foer-bo’ot arbiru reduz moras sira, no mós mate, no labarik sira mak hela iha uma ne’ebe iha sintina hetan risku menus-liu ba moras ra'es-badak. PAKSI ne’e mak estratejia simples no efetivu-liu mak depende ba mudansa pozitivu husi komunidade sira-nia hahalok ne’ebe konvensidu ona katak so’e foer-bo’ot arbiru hamosu kontaminasaun no moras, no halo mudansa krusial so’e foer-bo’ot arbiru” dehan Valerie Taton, Representativa UNICEF. 

Senhor Jeca Smith, Adjuntu Prezidente Autoridade Munisipiu Dili, Dra. Odete da Silva Viegas, Diretora Jeral Prestasaun Servisu Saúde Ministeriu Saúde; Andrew Jacobs, Embaxador Uniaun Europeia iha Timor-Leste, no Valérie Taton Reprezentativa UNICEF iha Timor-Leste hola parte mós iha iventu lansamentu iha Dili.

Serimonia ne’e organiza no fasilita husi Prezidente Autoridade, no diretor servisu saúde Minisipiu Dili. Xefe Suku 36, Administrador Postu 6, Jestor Sentru Saúde Komunitaria 6, ho reprezentate instituisaun relevante sira, parseiru no lider komunitaria sira mós partisipa iha iventu lansamentu ne’e.

Kuran asesu ba saneamentu kauza kustu umanu real sira ba moras, malnutrisaun no mate prematura sira. Estudu no analize resente hatudu ligasaun forte entre so’e foer-bo’ot arbiru no ra'es-badak ba labarik ki’ik, ida ne’ebe iha impkatu ba dezenvolvimentu kognitivu no produtividade ekonomia iha futuru. Iha Timor-Leste moras respiratoria no diareia sei sai kauza bo’ot rua ba mortalidade infantil no labarik, sira rua hotu iha ligasaun forte ho kuran saneamentu no pratika ijiene sira.

“Ita presiza atu aselera protesaun estatutu saúde no nutrisaun ba labarik sira liu husi promosaun impaktu a’as, bazeia ba evidensia no intervensaun ho kustu ki’ik” dehan Dra.Odete da Silva Viegas, Diretora Jeral Prestasaun Servisu Saúde, Ministeriu Saúde.  

Munisipiu neen iha Timor-Leste deklara ona livre husi so’e foer-bo’ot arbiru. UNICEF asisti ona suku 110 hodi deklara Livre Husi So’e Foer-bo’ot Arbiru, benefisia ona ema 238.635 no uma-kain 40.956 iha aldeia 526. 

Ba informasaun detallu, favour kontaktu ho:

Ministeriu Saude, Governu Timor-Leste

José Moniz, Xefe Saúde Ambiental, Ministeriu Saúde:
Phone: +670 78258529; Email:

Uniaun Europeia:
Marina Rini, Communication Officer, European Union in Timor-Leste

UNICEF Timor-Leste:
Rukshan Ratnam, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Timor-Leste (English queries). Phone: +670-7723 1103 Email: 

Antonio Gomes, Communication Officer, UNICEF Timor-Leste (Tetum)
Phone: +670-7723 2441 Email:

Media contacts

Rukshan Ratnam
Communication Specialist (English)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +67077231103
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1820
Antonio Gomes
Communication Officer (Tetum)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 7723 2441
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821


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