Noefefan Bridge Inaugurated

Noefefan Bridge Inaugurated

10th June 2017: The Noefefan Bridge, over the Tono river, which divides the most westerly regions of Timor-Leste from the nearest ferry, airport and road access to Dili was officially opened today by the President of Timor-Leste Dr. Francisco Guterres Lu Olo and the President of RAEOA and ZEESM TL, Dr. Mari Alkatiri.

The Noefefan Bridge will allow the peoples of the western areas of Oé-Cusse permanent access for the first time to the ferry, airport and markets, regardless of weather and season.

The bridge fulfills part of the promise issued in the Timorese constitution to improve the region. It also fulfills a commonly expressed need in Oé-Cusse: a World Bank report found that 95% of people in Oé-Cusse want the roads and bridges improved.

Built as part of the ZEESM TL project and run under the authority of RAEOA, the bridge crosses within half a kilometer of the sea, spanning the Tono rivers estuary and will improve the traveling periods of farmers and traders in the area.

“The Timorese government is proud of fulfilling the desire expressed in our constitution. Crossing rivers should not be dangerous, and we congratulate the people of Oé-Cusse for building their future.”

Dr. Alkatiri, President of RAEOA and ZEESM TL

Before the bridge was built, it was normal, during rainy season, lasting from November to April, for the area east of the Tono river to cut off from the regional capital, Pante-Macassar. This also meant being cut off from the ferry, airport and main road access to the Timorese capital of Dili.

The 3 arced bridge, at 360 meters long and 20 meters high, the Noefefan Bridge has become an icon of the ZEESM TL project.

“From today farmers will have no longer be forced to carry heavy products by hand across a gravel bedded swift flowing river. This bridge provides access not just to Pante-Macassar, but to development, and is a symbol of our push to ease the burden on the most vulnerable in our society.”

Dr. Alkatiri, President of RAEOA and ZEESM TL