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Planting water, growing communities

– water restoration and catchment management

The idea of ‘planting water’ originated in Zimbabwe by a rain farmer, Zephaniah Phiri Maseko, as an effective way to replenish water-sources in dry-land environments – ensuring communities have access to reliable, clean and sustainable water.

Through Permatil’s work in partnership with Permatil Global, the PermaYouth movement, community groups, Timor-Leste regional and national government departments and NGOs, over 450 communities across Timor-Leste are directly benefiting from water restoration projects, with this number growing by the month. Water springs that have been dry for many years are flowing again, tens of thousands of trees have been planted and ecosystems are showing signs of self-recovery after only one or two years.

To date, the ‘Planting water, growing communities’ project has returned over 20 million litres of water to sub-ground aquifers – significantly reducing water run-off, erosion, land slips and flooding, while replenishing previously dry water sources. The model has changed the way communities use water. It has improved the quality, volume, and accessibility of water for drinking, household use and for food production.

With reliable year-round access to clean water and increased knowledge and skills, communities report improvements in health, education, livelihoods, social and economic participation and equality, particularly for woman, girls and people with disability.

This ripple effects is being felt by communities everywhere, from remote mountainous regions, right through the river systems to coastal villages and beyond to reefs and oceans – marking a significant improvement in water and food resilience in the face of climate change.

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