Livelihoods enhanced through labour-based road project
The Department of National Roads, Bridges and Flood Control (DNRBFC) and ILO launched the first Trial Contracts for the Enhancing Rural Access – Agro Forestry Labour-Based Road Rehabilitation Project in the Baucau Municipality of Timor-Leste.
We talk about roads, but we think about people. The roads identified for rehabilitation are selected taking into account connectivity and potential criteria for economic development and job creation. The roads rehabilitated by the Project are a vehicle to bring people to markets and services and lead markets and services to people."HE. Ambassador Alexandre Leitã, European Union Delegation in Timor-Leste
HE. Ambassador Alexandre Leitão stated: “We talk about roads, but we think about people. The roads identified for rehabilitation are selected taking into account connectivity and potential criteria for economic development and job creation. The roads rehabilitated by the Project are a vehicle to bring people to markets and services and lead markets and services to people.”
These roads will provide essential access and market linkages. At present, in the Uacala area, for example, the rainy season prevents not only the movement of agricultural produce, but also access to vital health and education services as the river becomes impassable.
The first roads to be rehabilitated are the Defawasi-Alaua Leten-Alaua Kraik Road (10.435kms), the Defawasi Junction 1 – Uacala Road (8km) and the Defawasi Junction 2 – Alaua Leten (2.2km) Road.
Through the ERA-AF, local contractors train to rehabilitate roads using labour-based methods. Trial contracts are awarded for successful bids from trained contractors. Ten trained contractors from Baucau have been awarded contracts to rehabilitate the three roads.
Municipal and project staff supervise the contractors during this final phase of their training. This process ensures a high standard of rural road rehabilitation, skilled and knowledgeable contractors, and sought after jobs and useful skills in current low employment rural areas.
another significant milestone to demonstrate the achievement through the Partnership for Sustainable Agro-Forestry (PSAF)” and stated her belief that, “all of these efforts will lead to improved livelihoods within the agro-forestry communities&rdquo."Michiko Miyamoto, ILO Country Office Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Women, youth and people with disabilities are specifically targeted for inclusion. A target for the labour based training courses is for at least thirty percent of the graduates to be women and fifty percent to be youth.
HE Ambassador Alexandre Leitão describes the targets for women as, “an ambitious but strategically decisive goal. In a Project where much of the success depends on the ability to establish synergies between agro-forestry activities and improving access roads, promoting the participation of women is truly critical. No one better than they know how to assess the difficulties associated with rural development, and no one better than they are prepared to contribute to accelerate this development with their work and ideas made from intensive experience”.
The environment has also been taken into account. It is intended that over 3,300 trees and 17,000 m2 of grasses will be planted in the Baguia area as a result of this Project. In partnership with the ERA-AF, a local NGO, Ho Musan Ida, “With One Seed”, will be working with local communities to provide environmental safeguards through bio-engineering. Ho Musan Ida uses a carbon credit sequestration scheme to encourage the retention of these trees.
In addition to the launch of the trial contracts, the event marked two further milestones. Firstly, the opening of the ERA-AF Facebook page. This page will allow people to follow the Project’s progress. Secondly, the Contractor Excellence Scheme was launched. This scheme is designed to reward excellence, facilitate continuous improvement and encourage and document contractor’s best practise.
In the long term the greatest beneficiaries of this project will be local communities as they will be able to use the rehabilitated roads in all weather conditions. The resulting improvements, including access to agriculture and forestry markets, and employment and other economic opportunities for the local communities, will in turn, contribute to ongoing peace and development in Timor-Leste.
Mrs Michiko Miyamoto describes this launch as, “. . . another significant milestone to demonstrate the achievement through the Partnership for Sustainable Agro-Forestry (PSAF)” and stated her belief that, “all of these efforts will lead to improved livelihoods within the agro-forestry communities”.