Timor-Leste: Water Governance Thwarts Peace-Building and Development
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Ineffective water governance in Timor-Leste has facilitated the increase of water-borne diseases while simultaneously promoting malnutrition. As a result, stunted growth affects over 50 per cent of the Timorese population, just behind the African countries of Niger and Burundi as the worst in the world. Water-borne diseases, furthermore, remain a dire risk for more than half of all Timorese children; diarrhoea, for instance, is the leading cause of death of children aged five years or younger in Timor-Leste. The country did not attain its Millennium Development Goals in 2015 – including its water and sanitation goals – mainly because of the decision to prioritise other projects, such as the expansion of the oil and gas sectors, while ignoring opportunities to promote and incorporate water governance into the Constitution.
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