Around 600 people will benefit from solar-powered lighting to be installed in East Timor later this year as part of the Alternative Technology Association’s (ATA) Village Lighting Scheme.
More than 100 households in the villages of Suai and Maluro will have clean, safe lighting and mobile phone charging thanks to the ATA and its East Timorese partner organisations. Ten local people will be trained to administer and maintain the solar-powered lighting systems.
The installations will be one of the main items on the agenda for the rest of 2018 for the ATA’s new international projects manager, Harry Andrews (right).
Harry has a background in environmental management and renewable energy, having worked with small and large renewable energy organisations in Australia, the Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa before joining the ATA.
Another task for 2018 will be distributing the ATA’s Guiding Lights picture book to more than 350 households in villages in East Timor. The book is designed to improve villagers’ knowledge of the benefits and operation of the solar-powered lighting systems.
“We will also be continuing the ATA’s monitoring program for its past projects in East Timor to ensure administrative and technical aspects are operating as intended and to learn how to improve implementation in the future,” Harry said.
“And we want to investigate how the ATA can support other renewable energy organisations in East Timor and look at the potential of pay-as-you-go solar models. These models essentially offer micro-loans to communities for solar systems where weekly payment is set at or below current levels of spending on kerosene for lighting.”
The ATA, with help from its partner organisations in East Timor, has installed solar-powered lighting systems in more than 2000 homes, community centres, schools and hospitals in remote villages in East Timor since 2003. We have also helped train dozens of local solar technicians to maintain the systems.