Narciso and Rosa’s smallholding in Metinaro.
Narciso has lived there with Rosa, his son Fuku and Lavan for about 10 years. He grows vegetables and lots of fruit, has free range chickens (they roost in the trees) all of which benefit them, the local community, many families in Mehara, a few families in Dili and Bacau. At the moment Narciso’s nephew, who he and Rosa put through school in Metinaro, works there full time. He also has a couple of friends and of course Rosa who help out. I can guarantee it is an oasis in a desert of food deprivation. Narciso would like to be able to grow more and perhaps be able to employ another full time worker and thus be able to benefit more people. Narciso would also like to grow coconut trees and keep a few pigs, he also intends to keep everything as organic as possible.
The problem is the shortage of water. There is no piped water to their home or smallholding. They try to store as much water as they can during the water season, again I can guarantee this as I have run out with them to collect as much water as possible in buckets, drums etc. when it rains- but it soon disappears – once it is gone, they then have to relay on water being trucked in from Bacau or Dili once a week but
only enough to last a few days.This is unreliable, costly and does provides only enough water for a few days. If the truck does not come they have to use large plastic flagons of drinking water from a small shop.
Very costly indeed. They have tried digging a ditch around the smallholding to store water but once the heat comes the water evaporates very quickly!
Tyneside Solidarity has sent them the money to part fund a well drilling rig which should give them year round on-site water.