Rotarians help out in East Timor

THE Rotary Club of Airlie Beach has continued its good work in assisting those in less fortunate circumstances overseas.

Three members of the local club returned from East Timor earlier this month where they had worked to complete a water pipeline in a remote village in Moto Ulan, 65km west of Dili.

Team leader Mark O'Donnell was joined by Airlie Beach rotary members Robert Lloyd-Lewis and Ian Hudson along with Jean Harwood from Tennant Creek and Frank Darke from Thursday Island.

Mr O'Donnell said it was great to be able to assist the local people and make a difference in their lives.

“It's a great feeling when you come back and you know you have accomplished something for someone else,” he said.

“It's probably the most rewarding things I've ever done in my life.”

The project was a part of the Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) which had been sponsored by donations throughout our district.

RAWCS supports Rotary Clubs in sending teams of volunteers to developing countries to provide assistance with the development of much needed facilities with focus on health and education.

Mr O'Donnell said despite Rotary members completing the work, it was only possible because of strong community support in the region.

“What is brilliant about it is that the rotary club make money from the phone guide which enables us to go and do it all,” he said.

“It's just not a rotary club project, it's a community project.”

The week long project saw the team connect 250 pipes together from the fresh water spring and run the pipeline through the jungles and hills to the village where a tank had been built to contain the water.

With 2500 Timorese people living in the village, Mr O'Donnell said the new pipeline would not only provide the village with clean spring water, but it would save the villagers who would usually spend hours scaling the cliffs to the springs.

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