ZEESM TL is developing a safe, long-term solution to transport difficulties in Oé-Cusse.


Road Network, Oé-Cusse, Timor-Leste. Credit: Rui Da Silva Pinto

Improving transport is a priority for ZEESM TL, 95% of people in Oé-Cusse agree with this priority, expressing dissatisfaction with the regions roads and bridges. ZEESM TL is focused on creating safe and consistent travel options for people and products from isolated rural areas to export hubs.

Villages are still routinely cut off from the regional capital, preventing agricultural produce from reaching markets before the heat destroys them. Hear more about this issue in this video. Some rural students have to spent Monday to Friday in urban areas in order to guarantee they will be able to reach schools each morning. Local and international businesses spend a large portion of their budgets on transport that can break or damage their goods. As a recent World Bank article points out safe and consistent transport is vital for Timor-Leste’s economy.

Examples of the improvements already accomplished in Oé-Cusse region are the Noefefan Bridge, the roads, ferry and the airport.

The airport has opened up the possibility of travel and tourism in the region. Prior to the opening of the airport accessing Oé-Cusse was an unreliable, costly and rough journey. Today Oé-Cusse can be reached from the capital Dili in less than an hour for just US$75.  A further, new, airport is being built to become an international hub.  To purchase a ticket or get a flight schedule from Oé-Cusse to Dili contact +670- 77524597. To purchase a ticket or get a flight schedule from Dili to Oé-Cusse contact +670- 77411548. General Conditions of Carriage.

Trade between Oé-Cusse and the rest of Timor-Leste relies on road and ferry. The current ferry, the Berlin Nakroma, travels twice a week. Its popularity is such that it is fully booked many months of the year.

The road from Sakato to Lifau has greatly improved access to the border and the ferry. Originally the 22km journey was rough and took approximately 35 minutes to get from Pante-Macassar to Sakuato border post. Now the same journey is done in comfort in under ten minutes. Connecting the Noefefan Bridge to the eastern border it is the basic foundation of the transport system that ZEESM TL is creating in the region. All the basics outlined in our post on roads were employed to ensure a high quality, long lasting road built to a deep foundation of 50cm.

Roads to Passabe and Oesilo are already being surveyed and assessed to expand the network to the furthest edges of Oé-Cusses southern border.

The Noefefan Bridge was officially opened on the 10th of June 2017. With this vital link opened buses and other transport will multiply along the route, lowering passenger prices and allowing greater access for rural areas to Pante-Macassar.