Aileu

DISTRICT PROFILE SUMMARY

Aileu district is located in the highlands to the south of Dili. The district has a land area of 729 sq. kilometers. The topography is mountainous, with spot heights ranging between 350 to 1500 metres above sea level. The principal town, Aileu, is situated in the Mantane River basin 47km by road from Dili, and at an altitude of 913 metres.

Aileu district comprises of four sub-districts: Aileu Kota (227km2), Remexio (207km2), Lequidoe (192km2) and Laulara (103km2). Dili borders the district to the north, Manatuto to the east, Manufahi to the south, and Ermera to the west and southwest. The district's population is 36,369, based on figures from the district administration (see annex 2). However, a big difference exists between these figures and those from Civil Registry indicated in the table below.

Aileu Kota

6,O30

5,934

11,964

Remexio

3,228

2,953

6,181

Lequidoe

2,44O

2,514

4,954

Laulara

4,281

3,900

8,181

Approximately half the population lives in Aileu Kota. There are 31 official sucos, and 13 new or independent sucos that have emerged since the popular consultation, reflecting in part the old clandestine structures. (For a breakdown of sucos, see annex 2; maps showing the suco boundaries are at annex 4)

Aileu is linguistically quite homogenous, and the predominant language group is Mambae. The only other indigenous language, Galoli, is spoken only in the NE corner of the district bordering Manatuto. The majority of the population is Catholic, and about ten percent of the population is Protestant. Traditional animist beliefs are also strong, with some villages such as Hohulu and Erheto functioning as spiritual centers.

The district is reported to have two agro-climatic zones: upland and highland. These zones are represented throughout the sub-districts. Local farmers divide the year into four distinct seasons, namely the wet season, which runs from mid-October to April, the cold season in May and June, the windy season in July and August, and the dry season from mid-August to mid-October. Average temperatures throughout the year are significantly lower than the coastal regions, with an extreme high of 84 degrees Fahrenheit and a nighttime extreme low of 40 degrees. Humidity is also much lower than at the coast.

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