Timor-Leste is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. Only 70% of the population have access to mains electricity and communities in remote areas are not expected to have mains electricity for at least the next 15 years. These communities are often small, dispersed and financially poor. They rely largely on kerosene lamps that are expensive, polluting, dangerous and damaging to health.
Since 2003, Alternative Technology Association (ATA) volunteers and local partners have been installing small, inexpensive solar power systems that provide lighting for off-grid households as well as community centres, orphanages, schools and hospitals in remote rural villages. Local technicians are trained to install, repair, and maintain the solar systems. To date, 180 local technicians have been trained in villages.
Installing a single bulb can allow children to study thereby improving their educational potential. Adults can complete chores or pursue other activities in safety. Renewable technologies can operate off the grid, suitable for remote locations while reducing the demand for diesel fuel and other scarce (and expensive) resources. The ATA does not have a physical presence in East Timor, and it is our aim to empower local organisations and people to manage their systems into the future without us.
ATA Site for International Projects