Sarawak Energy Continues To Engage With Baleh HEP Community As Works Progress

BALEH, 16 NOVEMBER, FRIDAY: Sarawak Energy is stepping up its outreach and social investment programme for communities in Baleh as works on the hydroelectric dam progress. As part of this, the state-owned energy developer and utility company held a dialogue session with residents from 11 longhouses from Sungai Gaat of the Baleh river.

The session is part of Sarawak Energy’s comprehensive community engagement plan aimed at keeping neighbouring villages updated on work progress at the site, and enables the residents to tap into the socio-economic opportunities and benefit of the project.

Held at Rumah Nyamok at Nanga Serau, Sungai Gaat, the session was attended by more than 150 residents including from Rumah Bansa, Rumah Lembang, Rumah Tajai, Rumah Sait, Rumah Jawing, Rumah Kanchin, Rumah Gendang, Rumah Tungku, Rumah Melintang and Rumah Jegai.

“Sarawak Energy is committed to work closely with the community in Baleh to ensure the successful implementation of Baleh HEP, which will generate economic opportunities in local businesses as well as provide employment and training opportunities for the people in the area and Sarawak as a whole,” said Jiwari Abdullah, General Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability when addressing the residents.

 Jiwari was leading the Sarawak Energy team with Baleh HEP Project Director Tan Chuan Ngan. They were joined by Assistant Manager for Community Relations Augustine Supen Taja and Head of Baleh Community Relations and Liaison Jantai Maseng.

Jiwari said that Sarawak Energy would continue to organise dialogue sessions with the community in Kapit and Baleh as well as with consultative committees such as PKPB and PKNAK to work on sustainable community development initiatives that addressed the community’s real needs.

“We will strive to maximise the positive impact of the project for the community,” he added.

Those present at the dialogue session were briefed on the project structure, current status and schedule as well as updated on local content participation by Tan, who also informed them on the modes and lines of communication between Sarawak Energy and the community during the construction and dam operation period.

 The 1,285WM Baleh HEP is scheduled to be fully commissioned by 2026.

The progress of the Baleh Youth Skills Training programme was highlighted during the session by Jantai, who encouraged youths from Sungai Gaat area to participate in the training programme to equip themselves with the necessary skills for greater employment opportunities at the project site.

Meanwhile, Rumah Nyamok headman thanked Sarawak Energy for organising the dialogue session and updating the communities on the current status of the project and the local content opportunities.

“It is through dialogue sessions like this that the communities of Sungai Gaat are better informed of the local content initiatives that have been carried out by Sarawak Energy,” he said.

Member of Parliament for Hulu Rejang Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong who is also the advisor to Pertubuhan Kebajikan Penduduk Baleh (PKPB), called on the residents to work together for the betterment of their community. He also urged the youths to take advantage of the education and training opportunities offered by Sarawak Energy.

Sarawak Energy has been actively conducting regular engagements in Kapit since 2015 under the principle of free, prior and informed consultation to ensure best practice in hydropower development as stipulated under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocols (HSAP) of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

In addition, the sessions were also to enable local communities to voice their views and feedbacks which would be taken into account for further action. END

Jiwari addressing the residents during the dialogue session.

Tan updating the residents on the latest project status.

Datuk Wilson Ugak (wearing cap) accompanied by Jiwari receiving mementos from the villagers of Rumah Nyamok.