Southern Telegraph - - NEWS - Pierra Wil­lix

A group of lo­cal Ro­tar­i­ans have been help­ing to pro­vide clean, run­ning wa­ter for vil­lages in East Ti­mor since 2010.

Four Ro­tar­i­ans re­turned from their last trip in Oc­to­ber, and last week spoke to the Tele­graph about the dif­fer­ence the project was mak­ing. Many vil­lages are iso­lated and face sig­nif­i­cant is­sues such as poor san­i­ta­tion be­cause of a lack of run­ning wa­ter.

Also, many school­child­ren fail to at­tend school or to keep up be­cause of sick­ness or de­hy­dra­tion.

Man­ager of Ro­tary projects in East Ti­mor and former Ro­tary Club of Kwinana pres­i­dent Max Bird said par­tic­i­pants had helped the com­mu­ni­ties set up clean, run­ning wa­ter sources, train­ing vil­lagers on how to man­age sources once they had been es­tab­lished.

A small group trav­els to Ti­mor-Leste sev­eral times a year, help­ing out a dif­fer­ent vil­lage each time.

“We look into where their ex­ist­ing wa­ter sup­ply is com­ing from and then look to what needs to be done,” Mr Bird said.

Mr Bird said in one vil­lage where Ro­tary had helped set up run­ning wa­ter there had been a huge im­prove­ment in the school at­ten­dance of girls.

“In one vil­lage we were told that many girls were miss­ing out on school be­cause it was their job to cart wa­ter, usu­ally hav­ing to make a 5km round trip be­fore school, car­ry­ing 20 litres on their own,” he said.

“If they didn’t do it in time, they couldn’t make it to school .”

Any­one in­ter­ested in do­nat­ing di­rectly to the project can go to do­na­tions. rawcs. com. au.

Ro­tar­i­ans Bob Cooper, Tom Hoyer, Mick Le Cocq and Max Bird have trav­elled to East Ti­mor many times.

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