BA’KELALAN – The loud noise from the iM Sarawak micro-hydro generator does not deter Danny Danil from doing his routine of checking the efficiency of the system which provides 24 hours electricity to Kampung Long Telingan here.
Danny, 38, who has nine years of experience working in the oil and gas industry is serious in carrying out his duty as the caretaker of the facility.
“There are two dams on the mountain which power the generator to produce 20 kilowatts of electricity which lights up 24 houses in the village,” he said.
Besides Danny’s his daily routine, once a week, the youth of Lun Bawang descent who has been the caretaker of the facility since June 2016, would also carry out cleaning work to ensure that the dams are not blocked by twigs and wood, as well as no small animals nor sand enter the turbines and the pipes are not leaking.
“Following guidance from the staff of Penampang Renewable Energy (iM Sarawak’s project partner) and my working experience, I have been able to shoulder the task entrusted to me,” he said, adding that he was happy that the village now had 24 hours of free electricity,
iM Sarawak is a social development initiative headed by the 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council (1MSAC) to improve the livelihood of various communities in the state, in line with the 1Malaysia principle.
1MSAC was established by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to provide advice on the needs of the people of Sarawak.
The micro-hydro energy project involves around 700 residents from Kampung Long Telingan (24 houses), Kampung Long Semadoh Rayeh (55 houses) and Kampung Bubuk Bui (48 houses).
The success of this project benefited the residents of these three villages which take between three and five hours of travel via a 4WD vehicle from Lawas as it lessens their dependency on electricity powered by diesel generators.
For grocer Patrick Tony Lakai, 40s, from Kampung Long Semadoh Rayeh, the micro-hydro system enabled him to run his business until late in the night compared to before with the use of diesel generators.
“With the availability of 24-hours of electricity, I bought a refrigerator to keep wet goods such as fish, chicken wings and meat. I get the wet goods from Lawas. Now, I can buy more stocks as I can store them in the refrigerator instead of wasting my time travelling to Lawas frequently,” said the father of seven, adding that the micro-hydro system also enabled his children to study at night comfortably.
Meanwhile, Rinai Sakai, 64, a homestay operator, said the new energy system enabled her to equip her homestays with electrical equipment such as rice cookers, washing machines and television sets.
RInai, who also produces Lun Bawang traditional handicraft, can now focus on making more products with the 24-hours electricity facility, instead of depending on dimly-lit candles.
Meanwhile, 1MSAC Chairman Datuk Joseph Salang said iM Sarawak was glad to be able to help the communities of Long Semadoh, Long Telingan and Bubuk Bui through the micro-hydro systems that were installed via ‘gotong-royong’ efforts.
“I am also confident that the micro-hydro system will help the communities to expand their homestay ventures by making accommodation more welcoming to their future customers,” he added.
Apart from Salang, 1MSAC members include Limbang Member of Parliament Hasbi Habibollah, Mas Gading Member of Parliament Datuk Anthony Nogeh Gumbek, former Hulu Rajang Member of Parliament Datuk Billy Abit Joo and Irwan Zulkarnain Muhammad Hasbie. – BERNAMA