The NSDP can be implemented according to the needs of the People

Fri. 03 of September of 2010, 18:13h

The Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, gave continuity to the consultation about the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) in the Ataúro sub-district, Díli District. The Head of The Government was welcomed by the members of the local Government and by the Police Commander of the Díli District Squad, whom accompanied him since the Ataúro Port, to the area reserved for the NDSP consultation sessions in the Ataúro Village.

The Ataúro sub-district Administrator, invested the Prime Minister with the Ataúro traditional clothes, whom also received several offers from the Ataúro community: a kohe mama (bag for chewing aperitifs) which, hanging o the Prime Minister neck, symbolizes the food parcel used by the fisherman, the kaibauk (a kind of crown) made of palm leafs, symbolizes the protection also used by the fisherman to cover the head and the babadok (similar to a tambourine) symbolizes the amusement in the meetings next to the traditional house.

The opening of the session, by the sub-district Administrator, Manecas da C. Soares, preceded the NSDP reflexions and served to present the sub-district geographically, composed by 5 Sucos: Maumeta, Beloi, Maquli, Macadade and Biqueli, comprehending 19 villages.

The Ataúro island is confronted by the Wetar strait to the East, to the North by Sawu, to the South by the Ombai straight and to the West by the Alor straight. Ataúro has a extension of 151 km2, with a population of 4 987 males and 4 852 females, totalling 9 839 inhabitants and 2068 family chiefs, data collected by the recently organized census.

The population lives essentially from fishing and also agriculture and commerce. Ataúro counts on 1 Health Centre, 4 Clinics, 1 sub-district Police Station and 1 Maritime and Migration Police Station.

The sub-district Administrator, as well as the presentations, submitted to the Prime Minister‘s consideration questions related with agriculture, with issues such as tractors dispensing, fisherman capacity building regarding the use of fishing gear, reforestation, reparation and development of the livestock sector, industry and incentive to the tourism sector, since the island has potential due to the Manukoko elevations, the grottos, the white sand beaches and the underwater scenery around the port.

The community leaders also expressed their concerns regarding the lack of a sanitation post, of potable water, the weak conditions of the water distribution system that result in road blocks and electricity. Other observations concerned the lack of high school establishments, to alleviate the already scarce resources that the population have to spend to send their children regularly to school in Díli;, the connections of the Ataúro population with the ones in Liran, Wetar, Kisar; school rehabilitation and houses for the teachers and bridges to facilitate the crossing of the waterbeds.

It was suggested, by the same intervenients, the handing over of projects to the “sons” of Ataúro, in order to assure responsibility for the constructions; the necessity for the reconstruction of the social nursing home, that is still destroyed and abandoned; the Ataúro sub-district Administrator’s residence for the reception of members of Government and other entities.

The enlargement of roads, the cutting of trees at the end of their life cycle, the fixing of nets on the riversides, the need for a digging machine, the correction of errors in the collection of data about the elders, the swift payment to the resistance veterans, the need for fishing equipment, and the pensions to be attributed to the CNRT ex-leaders were other concerns identified.

They suggested the edification of a monument to the prisoners that passed away during the period of exile, the recruitment of new police agents native to Ataúro, special attention to the ex-exiled Ataúro residents and the attribution of scholarships to their children. Their concerns also fall on the issue of the construction companies that abandon the work without its conclusion, the salaries that still haven’t been paid to the workers contracted by these companies and the establishment of a Youth Centre.

Answering to these concerns, the Prime Minister invited all the persons presents for a reflexion about independence seeking to find the capacity to maintain the tradition of the ancestors, passed on from generation to generation, and that ensures the path of the Government that will already conclude 8 years of exercise in power.

He also referred that the State is in debt for the services of the sub-districts, sucos and villages among others, and that will recognize them: “I ask to all not to be taken by the temptation of considering everything from a negative point of view, an act generator of conflict. Help guarantee the State doesn’t need to turn to big scale expenses to find solutions for the issues, and that the money be applied to take care of population welfare. I make an appeal to all, try to find solutions for the problems based on dialogue” advised the Head of the Government.

Regarding the issues presented by the community leaders, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, defended that to move forward one needs to know how to avoid problems, but in case these exist, the solution should be based on the dialogue so that the NSDP can develop the territory with basic infrastructures available to each sector. If the State must fulfil its obligations, the same should happen with the community, guaranty the good work of the State installations.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by the parish Priest, the Secretaries of State for: Energy Policy, Avelino Coelho, Electricity, Water and Urbanization, Januário Pereira, Security, Francisco Guterres, Agriculture and Arboriculture, Marcos da Cruz, Defence, Júlio Tomás Pinto, Public Works, Domingos Caeiro, Culture, Virgilío Smith, the Timor-Leste National Police Commander, the Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro and the Díli District Police Inspector, Pedro Belo.