Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT)

The Nusa Tenggara archipelago, which stretches from Bali in the west to Timor in the east, is one of the poorest regions of Indonesia. While close to Australia geographically, the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) is a world apart. NTT includes the islands of Flores and West Timor where NTA’s activities are concentrated. In 2019, NTT was ranked third poorest province in Indonesia, behind only the two Papuan provinces. In terms of gross regional product per capita, NTT is the lowest in Indonesia – at just USD$1,288 per person per year as of a 2017 census.

Over half the region’s population is reliant on farming and agriculture for their income, but NTT’s dry landscape and variable rainfall create a precarious environment for those who live there. Large parts of the province suffer from water shortages during the lengthy dry season, and farmers do what they can to supplement their incomes with cash crops.

In this context, NTA’s work to support small-scale farming groups with agricultural assistance, to help schools, and to provide water and sanitation infrastructure including wells and toilets, has a huge impact on local communities, enabling them to thrive rather than struggle to meet their basic needs. All this assistance by the NTA has entailed substantial self-help by farming groups and schools, with much of the necessary labour and local materials along with some cash being provided in each case, and with the NTA being chiefly involved with technical help, limited cash and certain purchased materials.