Improving Water and Sanitation in Kupang, West Timor
After Daylesford Rotarian, David Stagg, travelled to the city of Kupang in West Timor in 2018, Daylesford Rotary has been supporting sustainable, locally-led improvements in water and sanitation in villages in the Kupang countryside.
While in West Timor, David attended the Rotary Club of Kupang where he was introduced to a Rotary member who was working with the Nusa Tengara Association (NTA).  NTA is an Australian-based aid group started by Australian Surgeon, Dr Walter Mickelborough and his wife about thirty years ago. 
Although located in the tropics, West Timor is bone dry for nine months of the year and Dr Mickelborough saw an urgent need to improve water and sanitation. This is now high on the list of Rotary International aid priorities.
David arranged to spend a day with the NTA local area manager who drove him around the “atrociously rough roads” in the Kupang countryside.
“The country is very poor,” says David, “and the living conditions very harsh; overwhelmingly challenging for women who were required to carry water to the village from the spring.”
NTA has provided a life-changing solution for families rectifying this arduous and time-consuming water carrying activity.  NTA has taught farmers to build 15,000 litre water tanks from local materials. NTA supplied the cement and the plumbing fittings but the farmers built the tanks and therefore are able to repair them. A tank costs NTA AU$450. 
The NTA also taught the farmers how to improve sanitation by building toilets.
The local people David met were very friendly and hard working. Unfortunately, West Timor is a long way from the centre of power in Indonesia. “The people who live there are mainly Christian, so they are probably not high on the agenda for the government,” David suggests.
“When we give international aid, it seems that we are barely scratching the surface. The need is so enormous. But Daylesford Rotary giving $2,500 has significantly improved the lives of many people in the local area,” said David.