47-year-old Adriano Ximenes Trindade lives in Hatugau Village, Ermera, a land-locked district in the western-central part of Timor-Leste. He and his wife Pasquela have seven children, which is not unusual for a family in this country.
They are getting by as subsistence farmers and their little income comes from selling agricultural products such as corn and sweet potatoes. Coffee-growing activities bring them an additional US$ 400 per season. But the journey to the market is long and difficult and the money they make is not enough to pay for school items or medicine.
One year ago, Trindade was recruited by a local construction company to work on the Letefoho Vila-Leimea Sorinbalu road. This is a 10.5 km stretch that connects villages to the market in Letefoho Vila and beyond. All in all, some 1 500 households will benefit from the new road. This is a short-term job but it brings precious extra cash for the family, and the construction of the new road has been a win-win situation for them.
"Before, we had no job opportunities. Then the road project came and we were really happy to get involved. The work can be hard at times, but we are happy to have it. An improved road makes transport easier and now we feel that we can better support ourselves," said Trindade.