NEWS & UPDATES
Four Sebauh Longhouses Celebrate SARES Success
22 AUGUST 2020
A celebration and handover ceremony was held today to celebrate the successful installation and completion of SARES systems to supply four villages in Sebauh with reliable off-grid electricity.
The ceremony was held at Rumah Patrick Andin for the official hand over of solar systems from Sarawak Energy to Rumah Nompang, Rumah Lawai, Rumah Elwin Ugan and Rumah Palos, comprising 102 households of around 610 residents.
Minister for Utilities, Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi said during his speech when officiating at the event, “To achieve full electrification in Sarawak by 2025, our Sarawak Government has allocated RM2.37 billion for 2019/2020 to accelerate rural electrification under the Rural Electrification Master Plan. We are seeing success as electricity coverage for Sarawak’s rural population went up to 93% in 2019 through various initiatives under the Master Plan including the SARES programme that kicked off in 2016.”
“For Bintulu Division, SARES has connected 17 villages in Sebauh and 18 villages in Tatau, lighting up 607 households of about 3,300 residents. In addition, another 21 projects are currently ongoing in the Tatau District and due for completion by early next year. By 2020, it is anticipated that SARES will have benefited 5,100 residents in Bintulu Division with 24-hour reliable and renewable electricity supply,” he said.
Rundi congratulated the residents of the four longhouses and advised them to take good care of their newly installed SARES.
“This is a gift from the government of Sarawak to our rural folk who don’t have the same access to utilities that town people have. SARES is making a big difference to the lives of the people here and in many other remote communities of Sarawak. Each household is provided with 3000Wh of renewable electricity daily, enough to power basic needs such as lighting, television and refrigerator. There is less need for frequent travel to town to buy provisions as well as diesel for their former generator sets, providing convenience and ease.”
In addition to several hundred residents of the longhouses, also present were the Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity, Datuk Liwan Lagang, The Assistant Minister of Islamic Affairs & DBKU and the Assistant Minister of Utilities for Water Supply, Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Bin Haji Junaidi, Deputy Director of Sarawak's Department of Information, Mr Aziz bin Abdul Rahman 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.
SARES is an initiative under the Rural Electrification Masterplan, driven and funded by the Sarawak Government through the Ministry of Utilities with Sarawak Energy as its implementation agent. Standalone alternative systems of either solar or micro-hydro technology are installed to supply electricity to remote villages located too far to be connected to the main electricity grid.
The handover ceremony also signified the successful completion of local community training to perform simple operation and maintenance work, with Sarawak Energy providing technical support free of charge under government funding.
A group photo with the community leaders from the four longhouses powered by SARES holding up the certificates of the handover with the Minister for Utilities Sarawak Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi Utom (centre), Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity, Datuk Liwan Lagang (3rd left), Assistant Minister of Islamic Affairs & DBKU and the Assistant Minister of Utilities for Water Supply, Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Bin Haji Junaidi (6th left), Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification Dr Chen Shiun and others.
Dr. Chen Shiun, Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification (3rd right) symbolically hands over the solar power system to Tuai Rumah Nompang (5th right) in the presence of Minister of Utilities, Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi (Centre), Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Liwan Lagang (7th right), Assistant Minister of Islamic Affairs & DBKU and the Assistant Minister of Utilities for Water Supply, Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Bin Haji Junaidi (4th right), community leaders and the four tuai rumah with their certificates of ownership.