Long Na'ah Community Thanks Sarawak Energy For New Water Supply

ULU BARAM, WEDNESDAY 9TH JULY 2014:  Folks of Long Na’ah here are now enjoying direct water supply with the installation of new water gravity feed distribution system.

This was made possible through the collaborative effort of Telang Usan assemblyman YB Dennis Ngau, the Medical Health Department and funded by Sarawak Energy.

The hardship of gathering water from the nearby Ulu Baram River as well as facing the uncertainty of harvesting rainfall is now a thing of the past as water is now flowing through the taps in 145 households at the Kayan village of Long Na’ah in Baram’s interior. Long Na’ah has a population of around 1,500 villagers.

There to officiate at the project’s completion on Monday were YB Dennis Ngau and Sarawak Energy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit. Also present were Sarawak Energy Senior Manager II for Corporate Social Responsibility Jiwari Abdullah, Long Na’ah village headman Wan Deng and former Penghulu Tama Paya Deng.

In his speech, YB Dennis thanked Sarawak Energy for looking into the welfare of the people in Baram by assisting them from time to time, especially in the improvement of amenities.

“Understanding the peoples’ plight, Sarawak Energy had approved the project immediately. We (the government) regard Sarawak Energy as our development partner,” he said.

He said, this was just the start of what Sarawak Energy was capable of bringing to the community in Ulu Baram and as such, the support from the community was crucial. He pointed out that times had changed and the folks of Ulu Baram need to be farsighted in order not to be left out from the mainstream of development.

YB Dennis further stated that no longer could the community rely on subsidies from the government, but instead must embrace a sustainable form of development and in this case, the proposed Baram Hydroelectric Project which would trigger growth and open up employment opportunities in the area.

Prior to this, Torstein in his speech said there were some groups who did not want progress in Baram and they stood in the way of Ulu Baram’s development plan and that the majority should speak up if they wanted development by choosing to support a sustainable future.

Furthermore, he said Long Na’ah is the prime village that would be affected by the Baram HEP.

“We are now in parallel developing the Baleh HEP and we want the people of Baram to join this positive development of the Baram HEP and enjoy the benefits that’s coming their way. I hope the people in Baram will come together and agree in one voice that you want development in Baram. Your voice must be louder than others,” he said.

Earlier on, Long Na’ah’s village headman Wan Deng said, the villagers appreciate the assistance rendered by Sarawak Energy to ease their burden.

“Ever since one of our main longhouses was destroyed by fire, our water supply was affected badly. The old water distribution system also suffered wear and tear throughout the years and it was costly for us to replace.

“However, last year we received the approval to do this project and now we are looking forward to setting up a committee to maintain the new system that is in place,” he said.

To this, YB Dennis Ngau pledged RM10,000 from his MRP to assist the soon-to-be set up maintenance committee and another RM2,000 for the village’s Sunday school.

The new gravity feed project with its reticulated system completed in March this year, three months after it began. It sources supply from three reservoirs upstream from the village. The system supplies to four main rows of longhouses, nearby school SK Kampung Na’ah and clinic among others. The project cost around RM400, 000 and this includes six units of 1,000 gallon of storage water tanks.

Telang Usan assemblyman YB Dennis Ngau and Sarawak Energy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Torstein Sjotveit along with the folks of Long Na’ah officiates the new and improved gravity feed water system by symbolically turning on a water tap.

Telang Usan assemblyman YB Dennis Ngau and Sarawak Energy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Torstein Sjotveit enjoy a little chat with the older generation of Long Na’ah.