Saturday, March 23

Longhouse folk now enjoy 24-hour electricity supply thanks to Sares


Dr Rundi (fourth left) presents a certificate of ownership to ‘Tuai Rumah’ Sapai Ajong, and witnessed by (from second left) Jamit, Nanta and others.

SIBU: Nearly 2,832 rural residents from 322 households from 18 longhouses in Sungai Pila, Sungai Gaat and Katibas cluster can now enjoy round-the-clock electricity supply.

Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said this was following the completion of solar power project costing RM20 million under Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares).

From the 18 longhouses, five are in Sungai Pila, three in Sungai Gaat and eight in Sungai Katibas, Song, he added.

The five longhouses in Sungai Pila are Rumah Empang, Rumah Gendang, Rumah Vincent, Rumah Jamit and Rumah William, while the three in Sungai Gaat are Rumah Mengga, Rumah William and Rumah Lawan and the eight in Song are Rumah Berago, Rumah Kawin, Rumah Peter, Rumah Melintang, Rumah Taboh, Rumah Baja, Rumah Serit, Rumah Jimpai, Rumah Api and Rumah Sapai.

Dr Rundi said: “A total of 161 households involving nine longhouses in Mujong area, Kapit will receive 24-hour electricity supply through Sares when the project which is in construction – expected to be completed end of this month.”

The Kemena assemblyman said this at the ceremony to hand over ownership of Sares systems for rural residents of Sungai Pila, Sungai Gaat and Katibas cluster at Kapit District Office today.

Also present to witness the handing over of ownership certificates were Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi and Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat.

Adding on, Dr Rundi mentioned that more than 8,700 households from between 300 and 350 villages and longhouses without road access and located far from the grid system will be supplied with electricity through Sares by using solar power or micro-hydro.

“(A sum of) RM500 million has been allocated between the period 2016 and 2020 to light up 8,700 households under Sares. Since implementation of Sares, more than 2,300 households in 98 remote villages and longhouses now enjoy 24-hour electricity supply,” he disclosed.

As for Kapit division pertaining to Sares planning until 2020, Dr Rundi said this will cover 46 longhouses with 965 households for this year, 23 longhouses with 467 households (2019) and 55 longhouses with 1,215 households (2020) – which will also get to enjoy electricity supply through Sares programme when the implementation is completed in time to come.

Towards this end, he said that Sares project is the initiative of the state government through the Ministry of Utilities and implemented by Sarawak Energy Berhad through the state government allocation to provide 24-hour electricity supply to residents in the hinterlands.

He explained that the concept of Sares implementation is community-based that is the project is implemented in cooperation with the community.

At the implementation level, the community need to give permission for the use of land and cleaning up of the area for the system concerned without any conditions imposed.

“Upon completion of the construction, the system will be handed to the community for operations and easy maintenance.

“SEB will carry out scheduled maintenance,” Dr Rundi said.

In this regard, he congratulated those longhouse residents whom have been supplied with Sares for giving cooperation in ensuring the success of the project in their respective area.