Rotary efforts have flow-on effect

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Pierra WillixSound Telegraph
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Rotarians Bob Cooper, Tom Hoyer, Mick Le Cocq and Max Bird have travelled to Timor-Leste many times to help establish clean water sources for villages.
Camera IconRotarians Bob Cooper, Tom Hoyer, Mick Le Cocq and Max Bird have travelled to Timor-Leste many times to help establish clean water sources for villages. Credit: 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.

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