EAST TIMOR: Village of Lolotoi fails to receive food or medical assistance


Urgent Appeal Case: UA1100
ISSUES: Right to food, Right to health,

MARCH 5: Paul Harris, a prominent lawyer based in Hong Kong, recently visited East Timor for the purposes of fact-finding, to see how he could be of assistance to the recovery of East Timor and to deliver some donations for local schools.


While visiting the Bobonaro region, Mr. Harris met a priest, Fr. Pietr, living in Lolotoi, who was very distressed that the people in his village are suffering from a severe shortage of food and medicine. Fr. Pietr gave Paul Harris a letter to explain the situation. We are sending this letter below for your information and action. If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact AHRC (contact details below letter).



Lolotoi, Bobonaro parish

March 5, 2000


To anyone who is concerned from UNTAET, Government and journalists


Lolotoi is located in the Western part of East Timor, close to the border with West Timor (in Bobonaro district). The area is divided into seven villages. Now, there are about seven thousand people that live in the area.


The people of Lolotoi are suffering silently. Because of the new border between West and East Timor they are cut off from Atambua (the city in Indonesian part of Timor) and because of the destroyed road they are cut off from Maliana (the capital city of the Bobonaro district). This isolation from those important cities is a cause of their sufferings.


The general distribution of food run by WFP (World Food Program) was never done properly and sufficiently. Up to now (March 5, 2000), there are people who received only 5 kg. of rice and 6 or 8 kg. of corn per person. How can someone survive on this amount of food since October 1999?? What about the infants and little children, who need rice as a main source of proteins?


During the war of 1999, majority of the people ran to the forest and spent there more than a month. Many of them came back to their houses sick. Yet, Lolotoi area does not have health care. World Vision that is responsible for health care of that area is not able to reach the place on the permanent bases, because of the bad roads. Together with WFP, World Vision is based in Maliana three hours drive by car to Lolotoi). So now, because of the road they come or not. That means that people live with their untreated sicknesses. Lately, both parents died within a period of two months because of TB, leaving behind two children.


There is now rainy season in the area that washes away the roads. And yet no one pays attention to this fact. The people with scoops and pickaxes are not able to repair a land slide or washed up road. There is a need for heavy equipment, but no-one has it in the area.


In the name of the people of Lolotoi, I¡¯m asking for concrete actions not for promises that were never fulfilled. We don¡¯t want also to hear that we have to be patient. The lack of nutritious food, the lack of health care, can and will have an affect on the physical and psychological health of the people, especially the children. You can¡¯t live only on cassava and corn, and at the same time be able to study or work hard.


I also invite the people of good will to the area, to see by themselves the difficult condition of life. We will be waiting for them.


With great respect and hope that this voice will receive a concrete answer,


sincerely yours,


Fr. Pietr Krakowzcyk

from Lolotoi

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA1100
Countries : East Timor,
Issues : Right to food, Right to health,