Community Leaders From Ulu Engkari, Batang Ai Visits Sarawak Energy

KUCHING, 2nd SEPTEMBER 2015, WEDNESDAY: The level of cooperation attained between Sarawak Energy and the communities at Batang Ai has paved the way for sustainable development in the area over the past 30 years since the construction of the Batang Ai Hydroelectric Plant.

Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President of Corporate Services Aisah Eden said this has enabled the state power company, the State Government and relevant agencies to attend to the needs of the communities in regards to basic amenities and socio-economic aspects.

She said this in her welcoming speech when receiving a delegation comprising 31 community leaders from Ulu Engkari, Batang Ai who were on a familiarization trip to Menara Sarawak Energy on Friday. Also present were Polycarp HF Wong, Sarawak Energy Vice President of Hydro, Dr Chen Shiun, General Manager of Research and Development, Peing Tajang, Head of Communications and Jiwari Abdullah, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.

“Sustainability is central to how Sarawak Energy implement any of its major projects especially if the project involves resettling people. We believe that sustainable development is all about meeting the needs of the present and future generation and this is considered in all stages of our process from planning to implementation,” said Aisah.

Overall, she said Sarawak Energy has allocated around RM3mil for several initiatives namely rewiring 22 longhouses, providing assistance to the development committees of the longhouses, churches and schools in support of their activities and equipping longhouses that were off the grid with solar home system.

In addition, she said there were currently plans to extend Sarawak Energy’s assistance programme which would see more communities living in remote Batang Ai being lighted up.

She conceded this was not an easy task to achieve given the geographical conditions at certain parts of Batang Ai where there were no access roads and only reachable by boat.

“For situations like this, rest assured we will search for alternative approach to provide electricity supply to these communities. We will also engage help from experts on how best to do so,” she said.

Later, Aisah presented a donation of RM5,000 to the villagers of Nanga Ukom, Ulu Engkari who were made homeless after a fire razed their longhouse on Aug 21. Receiving the donation on behalf of the villagers was their headman, Guyu Jarau.

Representing the group, Engkari Community Leaders Association representative David Ujan said the trip enabled the community leaders to foster closer rapport with Sarawak Energy. He believed this would further strengthen cooperation between the company and the communities of Batang Ai.

The visit also featured a presentation on 'Community and CSR' in Batang Ai by Jiwari as well as a tour to Menara Sarawak Energy’s Galleria and Museum.

Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President of Corporate Services Aisah Eden presents the cheque to Nanga Ukom's headman Guyu Jarau as (from left) Sarawak Energy Special Adviser for Community Relations Stell Sindau, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Jiwari Abdullah, Engkari Community Leaders Association representative David Ujan, Batang Ai Power Station Manager Encharang Ngtingih and Vice President of Hydro Polycarp HF Wong look on.

Sarawak Energy Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Jiwari Abdullah delivers his presentation on 'Community and CSR'.

One for the album: Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President of Corporate Services Aisah Eden (seated centre) together with senior management team and staff of Sarawak Energy and the community leaders of Ulu Engkari, Batang Ai.