While many of us take electricity supply to homes and offices for granted, many living in the interior regions of Sarawak aren’t so lucky.
An example would be residents in Julau, located just south of Sibu – it takes 5 hours via a logging road to get to the village of Rh Suing Ensan in Ulu Kemalih district.
“For many years, we were dependent on individual diesel generators that cost each family between RM250 to RM350 a month for only three to four hours of electricity a night,” said village head Tuai Rumah Suing Ensan.
“That, coupled with the transportation cost of the diesel, was very costly for us.”
These village residents now have access to round-the-clock electricity – thanks to the recently-completed iM Sarawak micro-hydro generator.
“We are very grateful to iM Sarawak for this 8KW micro hydro generator,” said Suing.
“The money saved can now be used for our children’s education, house repairs and to purchase better food.”
Not only that, the children of the longhouse are now able to have more time to do their school work and revisions during weekends and public holidays.
Suing also said women folk of the longhouse are now able to carry out traditional activities such as marek empang (beading), tikar weaving and other handicrafts at night. This will help hone their skills in making these traditional handicrafts and preserve a part of their culture.
Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, chairman of 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council (1MSAC) commended the longhouse folk in ensuring the micro hydro was completed and fully operational through a gotong-royong effort.
He reiterated that iM Sarawak is a social development initiative led by 1MSAC to help improve the quality of life of various communities throughout the state.
“The task to finish the dam was a challenging one as the 15-door longhouse has less than 20 male adults. However, everyone worked together on the micro hydro and managed to complete the work on time.
“We at iM Sarawak are committed to helping the communities in the state to improve their quality of life and with everyone actively engaged in this project, we believe the residents of Suing will have a sense of ownership and responsibility which in turn will encourage proper use and maintenance of the system.”
The Rakyat Post Online