Evaluation on East-Timor local construction technics

Evaluation mission


Country : East Timor
Locality : Several locations (Baucau, Dili, Lautem...)

Project date : June 2003
Duration : 20 days

Financial support : Foundation France-Libertés/ ASTO (Association of Solidarity with East Timor)

Mission objectives : The objective of the mission was that to validate a project of improving construction practices, by creating a Community Resources Centre on appropriate architecture and materials : this center would be used to train young professionals with local construction technics and to organize seminars on the introduction of alternative sources of energy (solar energy in the production of low cost habitat). It will be carried out in partnership with other organisations working in Timor or in Indonesia, such as the IRFED, EBF, GATE/Gtz

A number of results emerged from this mission,amonst which were :

  • The governmental authorities wish to support policies on habitat which gives value to the development of local resources. A law was recently voted in favour of a sustainable habitat (quota of "ecological" habitat)
  • The will and requirement of training in the field of technologies for construction with bamboo for the sectors directly related to habitat (trade association, craftsmen, women working with the weaving of bamboo.).
  • Urgency to support methods of production of the habitat which are more respectful of the environment and accessible to the poor, which can face urbanisation by limiting the import of prefabricated materials launched by many foreign companies.

2. General objectives of the project :

  • To contribute to the efforts of the Government, the civil society of timor and the community of the international financial backers aiming to support a sustainable development and in particular at supporting initiatives of reconstruction and rural development which prevents soil erosion and deforestation.
  • To promote the economy and technology of bamboo in Eastern Timor
  • To allow the underprivileged local communities to improve their habitat while reinforcing their competences and their autonomy based on the principles of a respectful endogenous development of the environment.
  • To finalize the design and to produce a series of structural components and to initiate a process of income generating production out of local materials in order to support the local economy.
  • To take advantage of the international network of the organizations promoting bamboo (Indonesia, Europe, Brazil) in order to reinforce the alternate usage of materials for the popular habitat.

3.Methodology :

The Project is structured in two phases :

1/ Opening of a "Center of resources on the use of the bamboo" which will design and develop structural components in bamboo, in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing Timor, and organize regular training workshops. Construction of a "pilot house" with initial training to technicians will allow to sensitize the various actors and recipients of the project. A group of women will be formed to improve manufacturing technics (weaving bamboo panels, other materilas, furniture...).
Duration estimated for Phase 1 : 6 months

2/ Pilot Project
This resource center will launch a production activity (decentralised workshops according to the targeted communities) where the inhabitants will be involved in the manufacture of the structural components, that is to say for direct use or for a profit making activity. The manufactured products must be used at the same time for the improvement of existing habitat and construction of new houses. The use of the bamboo thus will not be exclusive of any other construction technic considered to be relevant. The reason for this system is to facilitate a progressive and voluntary adaptation of the inhabitants, without being dogmatic, while guaranteeing a cultural proximity. The target villages will be selected in consultation with the local authorities and with a criterion of "replicability".
Duration estimated for Phase 2 : 12 months