Inauguration of the Mahata-Kusi road

H. E. the President Taun Matan Ruak and H.E. the Ambassador of Australia, Mr. Peter Doyle, will officially inaugurate on 22nd May 2014 at 2 pm the Mahata-Kusi road in Mahata Sub-District, Oecusse. The road has been rehabilitated by the Ministry of Public Works’ Roads for Development Program (R4D) in the period May 2013 – April 2014.

Press release | Dili, Timor-Leste | 19 May 2014
DILI - H. E. the President Taun Matan Ruak and H.E. the Ambassador of Australia, Mr  Peter Doyle, will officially inaugurate on 22nd May 2014 at 2 pm the Mahata-Kusi road in Mahata Sub-District, Oecusse. The road has been rehabilitated by the Ministry of Public Works’ Roads for Development Program (R4D) in the period May 2013 – April 2014.

R4D is designed as the Government of Timor-Leste’s leading program in the rural roads sector. It is implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and receives financial support from the Australian Government. Technical assistance to R4D is provided by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

R4D started with the rehabilitation and maintenance of rural roads in 7 Districts of Timor-Leste in 2013and is planning to roll-out to all the 13 districts of the country from 2015 onwards.

R4D combines direct investments in rural roads with technical support and capacity building of the Ministry of Public Works in planning, designing and delivering investments in rural roads. Another objective of R4D is to strengthen the technical and managerial capacities of local contractors who have been contracted through a competitive bidding process for the implementation of the works.

In 2013 the Australian Government contributed US$ 10.4 million to R4D for the rehabilitation of 14 roads with a total length of 92 kilometers. The Government of Timor-Leste contributed last year US$ 2.6 million for the maintenance of 23 roads with a total length of 145 kilometers. R4D supports the Ministry of Public Works with the implementation of the Ministry’s 5-Year Action Plans (2013-2017) which envisages the rehabilitation and maintenance of about one-third of the total network.

Along the rural roads where R4D has already completed the rehabilitation works people have started to experience immediate benefits of improved road access. As H.E. Gastão de Sousa, the Minister of Public Works mentioned “R4D is a good program to link people with markets in order to sell their products. Better roads are important, also to increase access to education and health services”.

Along the recently rehabilitated Mahata-Kusi road, in Oecusse District, benefits to the local people are already visible. Public transport facilities are more easily accessible and farmers can carry more agricultural products to the markets. Ambulances and the SISCA program now also have a wider outreach to the communities living in the areas covered by the road. The road improvement has also resulted in increased control by the border police in the area.

R4D uses labour-based work methods – supported by equipment – in the implementation of the road works and this also provides short-term employment opportunities to the local people.

The total costs of the Mahara-Kusi rehabilitation works amounted to US$ 1 million. More than 30,000 labour-days of short-term local employment were generated and this has injected about US$150,000 in cash transfers in the local economy.

Mr Doyle said the Australian government was very pleased to have provided funding towards the construction of the road. “This is more than just a new road - it is a community asset that will give people access to markets and critical health services and will help children get to school”.

For further information please contact:

Mr João Mario Gama de Sousa
Head of Projects, Directorate of Roads, Bridges and Flood Control:
Tel.: +67 77243427

Mr Horacio Barreto
Coordinator – Roads for Development (R4D)
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Tel.: +670 7723 1672

Ms Giulia Secondini
R4D M&E/Knowledge Management Officer – Roads for Development Program
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Tel.: +67 77012133