Timor-Leste is highly exposed to a variety of natural hazards, particularly weather-related risks, such as monsoon rains, droughts, flash floods, landslides, and destructive winds. The nation’s government, recognizing the need for disaster preparedness, established the National Disaster Management Directorate (NDMD) to manage these risks.
In 2014, with the support of ACP-EU NDRR Program, the NDMD in collaboration with the World Bank, UNDP, and other branches of the Government started implementing the Climate and Disaster Resilience in Communities along the Dili-Ainaro and Linked Road Corridors Project. The project aims to increase the capacity of communities and local level agencies along the Dili-Ainaro road corridor, to help reduce the impacts of natural disasters – in particular recurring landslides and floods.
As part of the project, a risk assessment was undertaken to collect data on floods, landslides and strong winds, in 49 municipalities (sucos) along the Dili-Ainaro road. Using risk modelling, the project determined the vulnerability of each suco and identified in particular the sucos most at risk in case of 100-year return period flood and wind events. Exposure analysis in the 49 sucos estimated the value of exposed communities, property, and economic activity in all categories at over $570 million, with residential and transport accounting for more than 80% of the total value.
The project has also strengthened the capacity of the NDMD to facilitate community resilience-building through developing a Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) guide. The guide has been field-tested, and selected technical manuals, for example, on landslide and flood mitigation measures, were produced for municipal-level implementation.
Moving forward, in the second quarter of 2016 the project will undertake community consultation to disseminate the result of hazard risk assessment and hazard maps at the community level.