880 Remote Households In Kapit Powered Up Under Sares


Since the introduction of the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme or SARES in 2016, almost 8,000 households in more than 270 villages in the most remote areas of Sarawak have been provided with renewable and reliable 24/7 energy.

More than 3,100 households from 142 villages in the Kapit division now have access to free electricity through SARES, under the initiative funded by the Sarawak Government through the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and implemented by Sarawak Energy.

This year, more than 6,500 residents from about 880 households in 32 villages in Bukit Mabong and Kapit have been given access to 24-hour renewable electricity under SARES. At a ceremony was held at the Kapit Civic Center to commemorate the completion and commissioning of the solar-powered systems and handover to the beneficiary communities, Datuk Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister for Utilities (Rural Electricity) represented Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister for Utilities Sarawak.

Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Malaysia’s Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Member of Parliament for Kapit, officiated on behalf of Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing who is also State Assemblyman for Baleh.

Speaking at the event, Alexander congratulated Ministry of Utilities Sarawak, Sarawak Energy and the 32 beneficiary communities for their teamwork that resulted in the successful implementation of energy development and electricity supply projects.

“Kapit Division is home to large hydropower generation plants with Bakun and Murum power stations, with the Baleh hydroelectric project coming up as part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy or SCORE. This is because of the cooperation and willingness of the people of the Kapit Division from Song all the way up to Belaga to work with the government to boost development in Sarawak’s rural heartlands.”

“The Baleh hydroelectric project currently has about 700 people on site with a majority of Sarawakians. Manpower is expected to peak at 3,500 overall, with highly skilled Sarawakian and foreign workers. We are seeing accelerated development as well as growing employment and business opportunities to complement these state infrastructure projects and this can only benefit our people in the long run,” he said.

“Through SARES, the most distant communities are now provided with electricity that is being enjoyed by their counterparts who live closer to towns. I hope that the Village Development and Security Committees (JKKK) and local community leaders to take good care of their newly installed SARES systems,” he concluded.

He was joined by Wilson Nyabong Ijang, State Assemblyman for Pelagus; Jefferson Jamit, State Assemblyman for Bukit Goram; officials from the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and representatives from relevant agencies and community leaders.

Sarawak Energy was represented by Dr Chen Shiun, Vice President for Rural Electrification and the SARES team.

Liwan said, “The innovative nature of SARES and the involvement of the communities in each project means that SARES is proving to be a sustainable solution to light up our most remote communities in Sarawak. The Ministry of Utilities and Sarawak Energy continue to work closely to expedite efforts to provide power to our kampong folk, improving their standard and quality of life.”

Under various rural electrification initiatives, Sarawak’s rural electricity grew to 93% at the end of 2019 from just 56% in 2009.

The Sarawak Government allocated RM 2.37 billion from 2019 to 2020 under the Accelerated Rural Electrification Masterplan to further speed up electrification for the remaining 22360 households to achieve full electrification. An initiative under the masterplan, SARES provides households in remote villages too distant to be grid-connected with either solar or micro-hydro solutions.

With SARES, each household is allotted 3000Wh daily, replacing noisy and expensive diesel generator sets with limited running hours.

A group photo with the community leaders from the 32 villages powered by SARES holding up the certificates of the handover with the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Member of Parliament for Kapit,Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (standing 7th left) , Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity, Datuk Liwan Lagang (standing 6th right), State Assemblyman for Pelagus, Wilson Nyabong Ijang (standing 5th right), State Assemblyman for Bukit Goram, Jefferson Jamit (standing 6th left) , Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification Dr Chen Shiun (standing 4th right) and others.

Dr. Chen Shiun, Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification (5th right) symbolically hands over the solar power system to the community leaders' representatives from Bukit Mabong and Kapit in the presence of Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Member of Parliament for Kapit, Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (4th left) , Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Liwan Lagang (3rd right), State Assemblyman for Pelagus, Wilson Nyabong Ijang (2nd right),State Assemblyman for Bukit Goram, Jefferson Jamit (3rd left) and others.