Paulina Quintao – The National Director for Water and Sanitation Services (NDWS) Gustavo da Cruz said currently there some 2000 households connected to the public water grid in the capital Dili are at least half are paying for 24 hour access to clean water.
He said the families reside in Comoro, Fatuhada, Bairo-Pitte, Kamp-Alor, Becora and Mascarenhas sukus. "There are almost 2000 and half the families are paying to access clean water," said Director da Cruz, in Dili.
The Director added that residences pay 20 cents for every m2 and for commercial venues pay 60 cents per m2. He rejected the claim that some families are paying for water even when it is not available because bills are determined by the water meter that only works when the water is flowing.
Resident Gaspar da Silva said that as part of the community that he is ready to contribute towards development and pay for clear water and electricity but he is concerned about some communities that do not have the meter nor access to clean water.
"It's disappointing because the government provided water meters but just to a few communities. They are required to pay a bill but others that do not have a meter use water for free," said resident da Silva.
He also urged authorities to crack down and fine those who break the law by connecting illegally to the water network.
Meanwhile National Member of Parliament MP Ana Ribeiro said MP's have raised this issue over and over again during plenary discussion but the government never took it into consideration.
"This happen not just in rural areas but in Dili as well, especially in Farol suku. It has been a year since the community last had access to clean water," she said.