Venidora Oliveira – The Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MOPTC) Gastso de Sousa said the government has allocated $10 million out of the 2016 state budget for rural roads rehabilitation.
He said the government is committed to rehabilitate rural roads in 2016 because the population, including farmers need to access markets, as well as education and health facilities.
"We have allocated $10 million for the rehabilitation work and we hope this will address some of these issues," said Minister Sousa in Dili. "We also already have a list of roads that will be rehabilitated."
He warned that the $10 million won't be enough to rehabilitate all rural roads but that the government will ensure it uses the allocated funds efficiently.
Meanwhile member of the national parliament MP Arao Noe believes the initiative is good because it will allow rural communities to access markets, education and health.
The MP added that rural communities need good roads so that teachers reach schools, so that desks are sent to schools in remote areas, and so that health professionals can deliver medicines to health posts across the country.
"If [roads] are good then the market will be good and full of products grown that can be moved from town to town. We will also be able to send desks to schools," said MP Noe.
Resident Manuel Pereira is not impressed with the funds allocation because every year the national parliament allocated funds for the rehabilitation of roads but remote areas continue to be without good roads. "Our people in remote areas are suffering because of the roads," he added.