Another mini hydro is installed and another politician mouthed `support’ for helping the interior folks of Sarawak to do more `self help’ and `green technology’. Given the half a century of BN’s rule in Sarawak there should have been amply time for the government to help install this `cheap’ mini hydros for all the hundreds of remote villages-but yet most of such locations are still left to depend on costly and environmentally unfriendly diesel generators thus far. If by chance the local folks install a unit of minihydro the poiticians will come out to give their `endorsement’. Before this there was another `endorsement’ by similar politicians from the ruling camp when a mini hydro was installed in Sri Aman. But the `endorsement’ never brought more mini hydros to the area. The shamed politicians only brought electricity to the village to make the mini hydro redundant within a year or 2. It is time for the ruling parties to show their real commitment to provide basic amenities like light, electricity to all citizens of Sarawak. Looking at the project reported here the 4kw cost RM70k-equivalent to RM17.5k/kw. This is actually not so cheap. At this price wonder how many long house folks can afford to build the mini hydros? Also: how many YBs will be making allocations to keep making such mini hydros accessible to more rural folks living in the dark? Can the politicians make better energy policy that will make electricity accessible in all of Sarawak rather than only make occasional `generosity’ to fund a few mini hydros here and there?
Cheaper way to light up rural S’wak
by Peter Sibon, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on July 30, 2011, Saturday
MPs to lobby for a special allocation to build micro hydroelectric dams in places with waterfalls and rivers
LUBOK ANTU: Members of parliament representing rural constituencies will join hands to lobby for a special allocation from the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development to build micro hydroelectric dams in the rural and interior parts of the state.
Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Joseph Salang, who revealed this, said such an allocation would be extremely useful as it cost much less to build micro hydroelectric dams compared to implementing rural electrification schemes (RES).
“Other MPs and I will try to persuade the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development to give us a special allocation for the implementation of micro hydroelectric dams because it is feasible and much cheaper than the RES,” Salang told The Borneo Post after officiating at the micro hydroelectric dam project in Rumah David Ujan, Ng Spaya, some 60km upriver from here yesterday.
He was accompanied by Lubok Antu MP William Nyallau Badak and Batang Ai assemblyman Malcom Mussen Lamoh.
Salang said micro hydroelectric dams could be easily built for villagers and longhouse folk who lived near waterfalls and rivers.
“This way, we are not only using green technology but more people will
have electricity supply.”
Earlier in his speech, Salang, who is also Julau MP, said the spirit of self-help of the people of Rumah David Ujan should be emulated by other longhouses.
He told those present that the villagers had slogged for 29 days without pay to build their micro hydroelectric dams without government assistance.
The RM70,000 project was initiated and designed by three JKR personnel from Kuching, headed by senior assistant engineer Martin David.
The micro hydroelectric dam at Rumah David Ujian, which is about 1km away from the longhouse, provides water to the turbine through a PVC pipe which is situated about 50 metres downstream.
Most of the materials were donated by individuals, Sarawak Baptist Church and several corporations.
The project, which was completed and commissioned on May 26, has an initial capacity of 4KW but could be upgraded up to 7KW. The 52-door longhouse now enjoys electricity 24 hours a day.
“I would like other longhouses to emulate their spirit of self-help and not always depend on government initiatives,” Salang said.
He also urged the longhouse folk to initiate their own economic activities and also seek government assistance to plant crops on their undulating terrains.
Meanwhile, Nyalau, in his speech, said he could not believe it when the longhouse folk approached him for only RM30,000 to help realise their
project because it never crossed his mind that such a project could be so cheap.
Mussen, who contributed RM19,000 to the project, urged people living around the area to continue supporting the Barisan Nasional candidates in
the 13th general election, just like what they did during the April 16 state polls.