Subject: UNTAET: Facelift for Dili Markets


24 May 2000


A comprehensive plan to renovate and put Dili's three markets in order is underway. The project is aimed at not only the physical upgrading of the markets, but also to establish market management committees. The latter will be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that vendors who rent space in the markets are charged fairly. The committees will also take care of routine services, such as the supply of water and electricity and the removal of garbage.

The idea originated from the Dili District Sub-committee on Markets and Cooperatives. The sun-committee, which meets weekly, includes vendors and representatives of the CNRT and the church, as well as UNTAET officials. The project is funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, JICA, which in turn has enlisted the help of the Japanese NGO ADRA.

The first phase of the project started a week ago when the Dili District Administration enlisted the help of PKF engineers from Bangladesh and Portugal to demolish the remaining structures of two destroyed market sites in Becora and Comoro.

At both markets, the reconstruction process is well underway, with market foundations reinforced and modern toilet facilities built by a local contractor using Timorese labour.

It is expected that Timorese contractors will build several modern market buildings and vendor stalls. As the Comoro and Becora markets near completion, the Dili Market Committee is hopeful that the markets' improved and more secure conditions will act as a magnet, drawing both vendors and consumers from Dili's over-crowded Central Market.

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