Posted by Rae Heston
Palm Beach Rotarian Mick le-Cocq recently reported on his latest trip to East Timor,  to connect a two-stage pumping system supplying potable water to the village of Gari-Uai.   He and Max Bird of the Kwinana Rotary Club were in Timor-Leste from December 4 to December 18 last year.  Following is Max Bird’s diary report of their journey.
Michael Le-Cocq and Max Bird arrived in Dili at 1700 hours from Perth. 
Paulo from Rentlo was there to meet us, what a great service. We had dinner that night with Steve Judson, president of the Rotary Club of Dili; and Acku, the president of the Rotary Club of Dili Lafaek, also Pedro, president-elect of the Lafaek club . It was a great night with an exchange of ideas.
Called into Timor Telecom and sorted out our internet and phone services. We then visited the hardware stores and bought all our remaining materials, equipment and fittings required for Gari-Uai. Ewe also  fitted two new tyres to the project ute and had a service carried out by Toyota Dili. 
At night we  attended the Rotary Club of Dili meeting, where I was the guest speaker.
Left Beachside straight after breakfast and picked up all our stores then departed for Laga. We called into Gari-Uai on the way and discussed with the villagers what is required for the pump shelters and the connecting  the power to the meters.
Inspected the orphanage at Laga with the sisters. All appears to be working wel, however there is a problem with the water supply from the hills. The pipe line was brokenby a wash-away in the recent rains. We made arrangements with Father Bennie for him to  repair  the pipe line. We then made up the remaining standpipes required for Gari-Uai and loaded the ute with some of the poly pipe for Gari-Uai.
Loaded Father Manuel’s truck with the remaining poly pipe and the fittings, including the tools required for Gari-Uai, and travelled to site.
The shelter for the meter box at the spring is now complete and is in place, and has passed inspection from EDTL. 
I then reversed the  order of the tanks. We had a 50/50 chance that the villagers would get the placement right on delivery of the tanks but that did not work out to our advantage. Mick then inspected the tanks for the placement of the pump and the inlets and outlets.
Shifted the shelter box to the intermediate tank site, ready for the power connection on Monday, then laid the 40mm poly pipe 2400 metres from the village to the spring. We are about 180 metres short and will finish it tomorrow.
Connected the last 180 metres of 40mm pipe to the spring, and then also connected the two distribution lines from tank one back into the village. The villagers built a retaining wall down one side of the coffer dam and cleaned out the floor, ready for the fresh water, once the wall and the cleaning was done. It took 15 minutes to fill to overflowing, giving a flow rate of approximately 66 litres a minute.
Mick and I then returned to Laga to pick up some parts left behind. We called into the Laga markets on the way, to look at the guttering system that was installed in August 2017. It ws working perfectly, the  tank was full and the ablution block was also working and very clean for a public utility. (Maybe some of our Australian locals could learn from the Timorese.) It’s a credit to Ted Evans and Mick Le-Cocq
Finished the distribution lines back into the various parts of the community,  with the exception of the line to the Loreto Sister kindergarten. We need to ensure it is still required. Sister Diaan should be back today and we will discuss the program with her. All is now ready to start pumping tomorrow to the tanks.
Tuesday, December 12
EDTL connect the three-phase power and installed the meter boxes at the spring and Tank One ,  including the MCBs. Mick installed the starter switches to both control boxes. Unfortunately the relay coil that activates the starter is not working. We will get Brother Thomas from ETR to look at them tomorrow. Here’s  hoping it is a quick fix because we may not have the correct wiring sequence. 
Mick started the pumps manually and we pumped water from the spring to Tank One for five  hours (about 13,500 litres) and Tank Two for about two hours without lowering the water level at the spring. We also installed another two stand pipes at two more communities from Tank One and both stand pipes are working well.
Brother Thomas and Mick found the small wiring problem very quickly (with the starter boxes) and we now have both pumps operating correctly.
Mick continued tidying up the wiring and testing the flow rates of both pumps. While he was doing that, we finished with our distribution lines and stand pipes to the kindergarten, church and the various other communities. All now have water within 100 metres.
Carried out all the finishing touches to the control boxess and the stand pipes, ordered cement and sand to build hard stands around the stand pipes (including filling the PVC pipe with concrete), then settled all our accounts so we can head to Laga first thing in the morning to unload our equipment into our containers.
Friday December 15
With Father Manual as the facilitator, we held a training session today  with the Gari-Uai water management committee. We went through the theory and then the hands-on training. Mick explained the correct sequence of operating the pumps. We also gave them enough spare parts to operate until they build a surplus into their account.  We also installed two water filters, one at Father Manuel’s sister’s house, and one at Tillman’s house. He was a great organiser and pulled the community together to carry out the pre-work that had to be done prior to our arrival and during construction stage. We then loaded all our gear and returned to Laga.
Returned to Dili and finalised all our outstanding accounts and finally had a long-earned rest.
Sunday, December 17
Cleaned the project ute and placed it into storage ready for the next project.
Monday, December 18
Returned to Australia on the 11.15am flight out of Dili to Perth via Darwin.