MASSIVE FLOODS AND LANDSLIDES HAVE HIT TIMOR-LESTE
Over 14,000 people have been left homeless, without food or shelter, and are extremely vulnerable following devastating floods and landslides that started 4 April 2021. The Timor-Leste government announced their relief package will focus on the city of Dili only due to budget and information-gathering constraints. In response, we have launched a plan to reach the farming communities in need across the country. We are gathering damage reports from villages, securing the funding required, and responding to the disaster in three stages:
1. Meet immediate needs
2. Support recovery
3. Build long-term resilience
"We need urgent help. There are 54 families here who have lost their homes and are housed in schools and in safe places, but we still don't have any help from the Government or any other organization" - Francisco Reis, Portuguese teacher (Laclubar, Manatuto)
These floods have struck during the worst COVID-19 outbreak and lock-down. Movement was already extremely restricted outside the capital of Dili, and now with roads destroyed and power intermittent, our coffee-producing teams in the remote regions have become the arms and legs of those that are trying to help. Luckily, we can act fast, and have the trust and support of local authorities and organisations, and have experience responding to landslides and flooding in coffee-growing regions of other countries.
Please help by donating and sharing this campaign.
Our focus is on meeting the needs of families in the coffee-growing areas of Timor-Leste. Initially, we are gathering damage reports village by village across 6 of the 13 municipalities of the country.
- Ermera Municipality
- Manatuto Municipality
- Aileu Municipality
- Ainaro Municipality
- Bobonaro Municipality
- Liquica Municipality
Each of these municipalities is divided into about 4-6 subdistricts, with up to 18 villages in each. We are working with our network of coffee processing centres, village chiefs, local police forces, and district administrators to gather data on damages and urgent need as quickly as possible. We are also conducting interviews door-to-door through a network of coffee farmers. Power and cell phone reception is often unavailable, and many roads are destroyed, so it will take time to collect a full picture of the damage in the more remote coffee-growing regions of Timor-Leste.
Phase 1: Meet immediate needs
- Support removal of debris and isolate risks of further landslides
- Deliver food and potable water
- Provide clothing, blankets and basic hygiene products for those in need
Phase 2: Support recovery
- Rebuild houses (e.g., roofing sheets, concrete, reinforcing steel)
- Repair roads and buildings (tools, labour, cement etc)
- Replant crops (e.g., coffee seedlings, labour, tools etc)
Phase 3: Build resilience.
- Upgrade housing to improve health and safety (e.g., sealed floors, gas cooking stoves etc)
- Invest in seeds, plants, & inputs needed to improve resilience to landslides
- Invest in crop renovation to improve food security
- Provide training on practices to improve land management in the changing context
- Eventually, we will be able to return to our usual work of building economic freedom through high-value coffee market access
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Please give what you can comfortably afford to, and please share this message directly with people you know who could help. If you know someone who works in the media or has a large circle of influence, please bring this situation to their attention.
Together we can not only help the families in immediate need, but we can work to break the cycle of disadvantage these communities face long-term by building resilience and investing in economic sustainability.
Thank you very much for your support,
The Raw Material team.
As we better understand the scope of the support needed, we will share the budget and cost breakdowns of each phase of recovery.
Investments will be prioritised based on the level of funding we can achieve and community-identified needs. All planning, management, and work is being carried out with village chiefs and local community members at all stages. You will be able to track the developments you fund through a Google Sheet we will share soon, and on instagram.
Raw Material is a social enterprise focused on impact for coffee farming communities worldwide. 100% of the profit we generate goes to small-holder producers, directly through payments for coffee and through community-level investments. Raw Material works with a network of smallholder farmers and dedicated global coffee buyers to facilitate trade at stable, sustainable prices while improving coffee quality, yields and community outcomes. A little bit famous in underground development circles for extremely low-cost, high-impact investments.