Timor-Leste’s Capital Water Supply Set for Major Upgrade

WASHINGTON  – The community of Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital city, will benefit from increased access to safely managed drinking water, following approval of a credit for US$121 million by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.

The Timor-Leste Dili Water Supply Project will finance the development, upgrading and expansion of the existing water supply system and provide drinking water to 82,380 people in East Dili through 12,482 piped and metered connections. The project will improve the financial viability of Timor-Leste’s national public water utility (Bee Timor-Leste Empresa Publica) and improve the quality of water supply service delivery across East Dili.

Today, only about 40 percent of the 317,000 residents of the city of Dili have access to piped water. Urban public water supply is constrained by aged infrastructure, highly intermittent supplies and low pressures, inadequate maintenance and a high number of illegal connections resulting in reduced revenues for the water utility.

With high rates of poverty and child stunting, water supply and sanitation infrastructure development has been identified as a priority by the Government of Timor-Leste

“Getting more drinking water to more people will significantly improve their health and well-being and ultimately contribute to economic growth.” said Bernard Harborne, World Bank Country Representative for Timor-Leste. “This project is a timely contribution to the Government’s renewed focus on human capital as it celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence.”

The project is expected to commence in October 2022 following ratification by the Timor-Leste Government and will be financed with a US$121 million concessional credit from the World Bank International Development Association.

The Dili Water Supply Project builds on the Baucau Water Supply and Sanitation project that became effective in October 2021 and is expected to deliver safe drinking water and secure sanitation services to the population of Baucau by 2026.