Sarawak aims to light up 22,360 rural homes in next few years

KAPIT (Sarawak), Sept 29  -- Sarawak through its energy company, Sarawak Energy Berhad, aims to light up about 22,360 rural homes in this vast state in the coming years with reliable 24-hour electricity supply.

State Assistant Minister for Utilities (Rural Electricity), Datuk Liwan Lagang said this would be done by extending the transmission and distribution infrastructure into more rural areas or providing standalone system solutions such as the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES).

Speaking at the handing-over of the newly installed SARES from Sarawak Energy to 13 beneficiary villages at Rumah Entili in the Nanga Merit sub-district, located two hours’ boat ride from Kapit town yesterday, Liwan said that over RM2.37 billion had been allocated for electrification projects in these two years towards achieving this.   

“The SARES gives our rural folk the same access to electricity that town people have. Although they don’t have to pay electricity bills, they have the responsibility of operating and maintaining the system themselves.

“The system displaces noisy diesel generators and provides convenience, thus easing the lives of the people here and in many other remote communities of Sarawak,” he said in a statement issued by Sarawak Energy, here, today.

A total of 2,200 residents from Rumah Seking, Rumah Entili, Rumah Anthony Jiram, Rumah Yan Ngumbang, Rumah Wilfred Guyang, Rumah Lawrence Lannie, Rumah Milang, Rumah Berundang, Pekan Nanga Merit, Rumah Ibin, Rumah Rajau, Rumah Sadang and Rumah Julau now have access to reliable and renewable 24-hour, solar-powered electricity.

With the new add-up, a total of 24,900 residents comprising 3,100 households from 142 remote villages in Kapit Division, which includes Kapit, Song, Belaga and Bukit Mambong, have access to the utility.

The sub-district of Nanga Merit, which has a total of 49 villages with 1,009 households of almost 8,000 people, is only accessible by river and timber track road.

With the longhouses located along the Merit riverbanks too far to be connected to grid electricity, the fastest way to electrify the homes has been through SARES. 

Liwan congratulated the residents of the 13 longhouses and advised them to take good care of their newly installed SARES and reassured them that Sarawak Energy would continue to provide technical support after the project’s completion and implementation.

The SARES system provides 3,000Wh of renewable electricity per day, sufficient to power up a typical rural household’s basic needs such as lighting, fans, television, small refrigerator and rice cooker, enabling the communities to reduce the need to travel to town frequently to buy provisions and diesel for the generator sets.




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