Learn more about the Atabae Parish…

Atabae Parish or subdistrict covers an area of 252.8 square kilometres adjacent to the West Timor border. It includes a western coastal strip and some rugged mountains rising to almost 1,000 metres.


The Loes River, one of the few permanently flowing rivers in East Timor, defines the northern and eastern boundary. Being on the northern side of the island, the rainfall is generally similar to the 900mm annual rainfall of Dili.


There is limited rain in April to June and very little from July to October. It is warm to hot all the year on the coast but the mountains have cooler nights and a bit more rainfall than the surrounding areas.


There are about 11,000 people living in more than 20 villages of varying size. Household size averages about 7.2 persons. The main town and subdistrict centre, also called Atabae, is located on the coast and is home to over 2,000 people. Three other villages each have 800 to 1,000 people. These are Aidabasalala and Coilima, both located by the Loes River, and Rairobo high in the central mountain area. The remaining villages are somewhat smaller and are quite scattered. Most people have to walk between villages and services are extremely limited.

 Click here to see a map of Atabae parish or subdistrict showing the location of the main villages.

Atabae Parish Council members gathered for a meeting. Most have to walk many kilometres to attend these meetings.