Take a load off Oecusse, Timor-Leste

Easing the daily burden of collecting water by connecting Q Drums, a rolling water container, with women in the Oecusse enclave.

Q Drum
Water transporter
  • Designed to ease the daily burden of collecting water
  • Prevent debilitating back and neck injuries caused by carrying heavy loads on their heads
  • Capacity of 50 litres (13 gallons)
  • Durable enough to last at least eight years wiith daily use
Q Drum

This project has been completed.
Thank you to all who contributed.


Outside of Dili, Timor-Leste's capital, very few people have piped water in their homes. Women and girls are usally responsible for collecting water for daily household use, often having to walk long distances several times a day to do this. They currently carry the water in five-litre plastic jerrycans. This is a huge physical and time burden on women and children. Carrying heavy loads on their heads over long distances can crush or twist bones, causing lifelong spinal or neck injuries. In addition to the physical toll, children sometimes miss school because they are collecting water.

How we can help: 

We're connecting Q Drums, a simple, rolling water container, with women in Oecusse, providing a safer and faster way to transport water. The Q Drums will save women and children a significant amount of time collecting water each day and reduce injuries caused by carrying water on the head.

Who are we working with: 

The Q Drums will reach women in Oe-noah and Hoinenu villages, in the Oesilo sub-district of Oecusse. 


Our local partner, Centro Feto, will introduce the Q Drums in community meetings in the villages. Women will be able to try out the containers for themselves. Centro Feto will consult with the women to establish a local market value for the drums, based on average income and the value people place on the drums. Families will be able to pay for the Q Drums in instalments. A Kopernik Fellow will work with Centro Feto to conduct a baseline and follow-up survey to assess the impact of the technology.

Project timeframe: 
December 2010 - March 2011
Location :
Reaching 150 people
Local Partner Contribution: 
  • Local distribution
  • Community outreach
  • Staff time to conduct baseline and follow-up surveys
Project Costs: 
Cost TypeCost DescriptionCost Unit AmountCost QuantityCost Amount
Product - Q Drum
Cost of technology
International shipping
Clearance and local duty
Wire transfer fee
For additional unforeseen clearance costs, local duty and other unforeseen expenditure
Paypal/Other payment processing fee
3.3% average based on average donation amount and average project size
Kopernik 5%
Covers Kopernik's due diligence and project support costs
Fluctuations in currency exchange rates and shipping costs may change the final quantity of technologies we ship for this project.

A huge Kopernik thank you to the 50 people who pitched in $6,172.00