Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Clean water in Timor-Leste: a collective effort

Claudio Soares, 65, stands outside his traditional home in Timor-Leste with his wife, children and grandchildren. “We all live in here, all seven of us,” says the chief of Saramata village, showing us the one room they all share. “We don’t have much but we are happy. And we now have water close to home.”

Claudio Soares, 65, stands outside his traditional home in Timor-Leste with his wife, children and grandchildren. Photo: UNICEF Timor-Leste/2015/Simon Nazer

 His big smile opens up – he is proud of what his village is achieving. “I am also chief of the water management group in the village. I maybe not that smart but the people here trust me on how to lead them and help everyone work together.”

Saramata village now has a year-round water supply, with safe water running through five taps as well as to the nearby school. Many similar villages in Timor-Leste still lack access to safe drinking water, as well as poor access to sanitation facilities.

“With UNICEF’s help, the water came after were declared open defecation free,” says Claudio, now sitting with the other members of the water management group. “We knew it was important to have water to keep clean. All the families contributed local materials and labour, depending on their situations. We all contributed in some way.”

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Multiple Micronutrient Powders helping parents to improve the overall quality of young children’s diet

Eight month old Nilton receives micronutrient powder from CHC.
@UNICEF Timor-Leste/2016/Mpgoncalves
Natalia and Fernando Salsinha are the proud parents of five children, two boys and three girls. Fernando is a farmer, who together with his wife Natalia lives in a small house in Kamalpu Aldeia, in Railaku Administrative post of Ermera District, along with Natalia’s mother and youngest sister. A total of nine people are living in the household.

Their son, Nilton is eight months old and the youngest of the five children.  He is still within what is referred to as the window of golden opportunity, the so called “First 1000 Days”. This time period from pregnancy until 24 months is the most important time for a child to be well nourished in order to stave off stunting and grow and develop to his/her full potential.

Therefore at this age, it is particularly important for Nilton to receive the right nutrition, a mix of continued breastfeeding along with receiving appropriate local and diverse nutritious food.