Sarawak Energy Engage Stakeholders on Baleh HEP

Kapit: Sarawak Energy held a briefing and dialogue session in Kapit to update government officials and community leaders on community investment initiatives, community engagement activities and the current progress of Baleh HEP Project recently.

This is part of Sarawak Energy’s efforts to ensure stakeholders in Baleh and Kapit affected by the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) are informed of the project. The session is a continuation of Sarawak Energy’s commitment to international best practices for hydropower development, under which regular engagements and dialogue sessions with the Baleh community and stakeholders have been held since 2012.

The session was co-chaired by Kapit Resident, Nyurak Keti and Sarawak Energy’s General Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Jiwari Abdullah.

At the session, Sarawak Energy shared progress updates of Baleh HEP with the attendees and discussed its on-going engagement activities and community investment initiatives for Baleh and Kapit.

“Community engagements planned and implemented to-date are in accordance with the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) and best practices in managing stakeholders’ expectation and aspirations. We will continue to engage with our stakeholders regularly to ensure their views and concerns are recorded and assessed,” Jiwari said.

Meanwhile, Nyurak said that Sarawak Energy’s regular briefing sessions for government and community stakeholder groups have been a good platform to find pragmatic solutions for grievances involving local communities.

He stressed the importance of collective discussions on issues pertaining to culture and heritage preservation, land claims and compensation to the affected communities.

On local participation, Bukit Mabong District Officer, Douglas Pungga highlighted the importance of prioritising the local communities in Baleh for employment during the project.

He urged contractors and sub-contractors to utilise the available local workforce in Baleh and provide opportunities for local communities to be involved in the supply of goods and services to cater for various project needs.

Community leader Temenggong Wilfred Billy Panyau highlighted the importance of conservation and documentation of cultural sites along the Baleh River. He added that the cultural sites are significant for all communities in the Baleh basin.

Present at the session were Kapit Deputy Resident Galong Luang, Kapit District Officer Criselogo Sabut, Sarawak Administrative Officer Wee Teck Min, Baleh and Kapit community leaders, Temenggong Tan Kian Hoo, Temenggong Hj Wasli Bin Noor and Penghulu Jampi Rawing, village headmen Tr. Laso Bunya, Tr. Unggam Majau, Tr. Langga Munan, Tr. Tajai Sanggau and Tr. Sosely Sintau.

Also, in attendance were officers from Land and Survey Department, Forest Department Sarawak, Sarawak Rivers Board, Sarawak Energy’s project managers and project delivery team, Baleh liaisons and community relations team from Sarawak Energy.

Briefings from Sarawak Energy were presented by Project Director Ir. Tan Hang Kiak, Baleh Community Relations Manager Jantai Maseng and Manager for Community Relations Division Augustine Supen Taja.

Sarawak Energy’s community development initiatives are planned and implemented in alignment to the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Equator Principles, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and the World Commission on Dams (WCD).

Jiwari and Nyurak (seated 4th and 5th from left) together with the stakeholders and staff of Sarawak Energy posing for a group photograph.