Three More Julau Longhouses Enjoy 24 Hour Power Supply under SARES Project

27 FEBRUARY 2020

Residents from three remote longhouses in Julau now enjoy access to reliable 24-hour power supply via the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES).

In thanking the Sarawak Government for lighting up their communities, the longhouse chiefs from Rumah Jepun, Rumah Japok and Rumah Sat said that the initiative had relieved them of the burden of purchasing fuel for their generator sets that the communities of these longhouses were previously dependent on.

Tuai Rumah Jepun anak Jamit said the fuel for the generator set was a costly expense for the longhouse residents who are mostly farmers.

“We can feel the change now as we do not have to spend so much to buy fuel,” Jepun said, adding that they could now use all the modern electrical appliances in their homes and this has improved their livelihood.

Tuai Rumah Japok anak Imang also echoed what Jepun had said, adding that his longhouse residents could organise community programmes and recreational activities as they do not have to worry about buying fuel to power their generator sets.

“We are also able to keep perishable food items much longer in our refrigerator when we are preparing for an event in future and not worried about them going bad,” he added.

For Tuai Rumah Sat anak Andil, he was appreciative that the safety of his longhouse residents was enhanced as they no longer depended on oil lamps and candles when they ran out of fuel for the generator set.

He also reminded them to exercise care when using their electrical appliances and to ensure the internal wiring in their homes was correct and safely connected.

The SARES handover ceremony to the three longhouses was held at Rumah Jepun. The event was officiated by the Assistant Minister for Utilities (Rural Electrification) Datuk Liwan Lagang. Also present were Meluan assemblyman Rolland Duat Anak Jubin, Louis Yan Soon Gang from Julau’s District Office and Sarawak Energy’s Vice President for Rural Electrification, Dr Chen Shiun.

At the event, Liwan said that SARES is part of the Sarawak Government’s Rural Electrification Masterplan introduced in 2016.

“Since its introduction, hundreds of villages and thousands of households in our most remote areas have been electrified using SARES, mostly using solar power,” said Liwan, adding that the electrification masterplan is an initiative to realise full electrification for Sarawak by 2025.

At the event, Liwan also presented certificates of ownership the three longhouse chiefs as a symbol of the system handover.

SARES is designed to be sustainable in the long term and involves the community from the planning through to the implementation phase. After the projects are completed and implemented, the SARES team continues to provide technical support and trains the beneficiary communities on how to operate and maintain the system.

Villages located far from the grid will be provided with electricity supply with SARES until they are able to be connected to the main grid with the development of access and road infrastructure to the villages.

Datuk Liwan Lagang officiated at the handover ceremony and congratulated the residents of Rumah Jepun, Rumah Japok and Rumah Sat during the event.

Tuai Rumah Jepun, Tuai Rumah Sat and Tuai Rumah Japok (standing 2nd, 3rd and forth from left front row) posing for a group photo with Datuk Liwan (centre back row) and Dr Chen (far right) after receiving their certificate of ownerships.

Dr. Chen Shiun (third right) symbolically hands over the solar power system to the longhouse chiefs- TR Jepun (third from left), TR Japok (second from right) and TR Jamit (first from right) in the presence of Datuk Liwan, Rolland Duat (centre), Louis and representatives from various government agencies in Julau.

The view of Rumah Jepun at night.