Day 3 april 2021, a normal Saturday day like any other, yet such a fateful day for some Timorese who never imagined that this would be their last day of life.!
the next day, 4 of April, shortly after midnight, it started to rain heavily and, about, 4 hours later, Dili, a capital, was under water and, days later, was defined as a “sea of mud”…
this day, surely, will enter the history of this people, like an ominous memory, due to one of the worst floods in recent 50 years old…
lives were lost, at least eleven deaths were reported, at the high, e 7000 thousand evicted. Thousands of homes and environments were destroyed., by the relentless force of the waters, mostly in the country's capital, Dili. were destroyed, also, the warehouses that were going to receive the first batches of anti-Covid vaccines. Further, several medicines were rendered useless and the sanitary cold rooms stopped working.
Dili is in a state of “calamity”, Covid vaccination and treatment centers were destroyed. Among many other damaged infrastructures are, also, two buildings to isolate Covid-19 affections and the National Hospital “Guido Valadares”, what makes you fear possible counter-coups in the fight against the pandemic.
The high rainfall caused several streams to overflow, to the point of leaving certain areas of the city completely flooded, with the water reaching two meters high. Certain roads were, almost, impassable due to landslides and tar destruction…
Days later, after a detailed analysis of the impacts of the floods of 4 of April, caused by Tropical Cyclone Seroja, was reported to have caused the death of 42 people: 22 in Dili, 10 in Ainaro, 5 in Manatuto, 3 in Viqueque and 2 in Aileu and left around ten thousand people homeless, in Dili, that were received in 22 reception centers, scattered around the city.
During that night we woke up, several times, with the noise of the waterspouts that fell on the sheets of the roof of our house. Around 6:30 h we started our day, very worried, on the one hand, with the rain that continued to pour down, and on the other hand to know the consequences of the same, taking into account the floods that occurred in Dili a few months ago. Due to a deficiency in the Sanitation and Drainage System, therefore, more of 50% of the city was flooded and for a week several teams had to remove a large layer of mud from the houses, from schools, of the institutions, sewer channels and roads…
Around 14 h the rain continued to fall with the same intensity. The sky looked like lead and I even mentioned it to my wife, quite worried, that I've never seen in my life, so much rain falling non-stop, for more than 15 hours! It was something that impressed me a lot… it even scared me and I must confess that I am not the most sensitive person…
one hour later, the rain has slowed down a bit, yet non-stop, so that it allowed me to leave so that I could assess the situation in which our land and a small village, situated next to a large stream that runs right next to both.
Before reaching the ribeira grande, we have another one that, although smaller, caused a huge pothole that destroyed part of the access road that, practically, ceased to exist to an extent of approx. 50 metros.
Upon arriving at the place, I met with some residents of this small community, who live in houses very close to the river, especially one of them, due to the force of the waters that dug in the side wall, lies, now, just a few 50 centimeters…
It was one of the few times, throughout my life, where I realized that the usual greeting “good morning” made no sense in this context… as I approached them I bowed my head and asked them how the situation was and I could observe, stamped on your face, a great worry and fear!
Precisely next to this house was a pole, that belonged to our power line. He was carried away by the terrible current of the waters, but luckily, two days later, I found him on the other side of the stream, stuck to the electrical wires and I was very happy!
Thank God, our land was not flooded. Just beside the small stream, the waters dug along the protection wall that we made and exposed part of the foundation of it… it is obvious that the stream was so big that it brought a large amount of sand, rocks and trees, some very big ones that we should clean, but luckily nothing serious happened.. We had planted two dozen bamboos and other shrubs, with the aim of securing the side of our access road, but unfortunately disappeared, including the road itself, leaving behind a mix of sand, lama, stones, bushes and trees!
Those responsible for the Timorese Government and various emergency structures are working to analyze the damage caused by the floods, that dragged houses, destroyed roads and several other structures.
Among the priorities set, for the same, support for the evacuation of the most affected areas and the resettlement of hundreds of families affected by the floods, in various parts of the country, as well as humanitarian aid to all victims and operations to clean up and restore damaged infrastructure.
as for us, we are committed to presenting to international agencies, that are on Timorese soil, a project to consolidate the banks of the stream that consists of the construction of a stone wall (gabion) com 800 linear meters, to protect the 12 houses of this poor little community, as well as our future facilities.
After a careful analysis, we observed that during the rainy season, due to the large amount of water that the mountains and steep hills pour, the strong current of the waters brings, along with the sand, trees and large amounts of stones, some very big, so that the river, after each flood, always raises the level of your bed.
To solve this problem, beyond this gabion, we need a backhoe to clean and lower, periodically, the river bed so we can control, always, the level of the same, preventing it from increasing and overflowing.
I have sent several orders to the big backhoe builders like JCB, Terex, New Holland, Komatsu, John Deere, Caterpillar, Case, etc., to help us, even offering us a used one, but unfortunately, Until now, we have not received any response. We are confident that if, in the future, we get some financial support, we will buy one in good condition, to solve this problem, that it's not just ours, but also from the aforementioned small community.
us last 2 years old, I asked for help, several times, to local authorities, as well as the Ministry of Public Works to solve this problem, but unfortunately they always tell me the same thing; we don't have funds! So these poor souls are simply left to the mercy of: ” God will give”…
We want to extend, earnestly, our appeal to all who will be able to help us to make possible the construction of this protection wall and in the purchase of the much needed backhoe loader. Since now, we are very grateful!!!
We present, right away, the approximate costs of this gabion and the backhoe loader:
– galvanized wire gabion 4800 m – 48500 usd;
– Stone – 28000 usd;
– Labor – 15000 usd;
– Backhoe – 35000 usd;