MARUDI: Residents of three longhouses in Linei Putih are now a happy lot after their longhouses are lighted up with 24-hour electricity supply following the completion of a RM7.8-million solar power project under the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares).
The three longhouses. namely Rh Rok, Rh Lajang and Rh Asong, have 128 households comprising 809 residents.
Headman (Tuai Rumah) Rok Anji thanked Sarawak Energy Berhad, the Sarawak government and Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi for solving their electricity problem.
Our financial burden is now lifted because we don’t have to pay to enjoy 24-hour electricity supply, the 61-year-old headman said when met after a ceremony to hand over ownership of the Sares project to the longhouse residents at Rh Rok last Friday.
The residents of 16-door Rh Rok are mostly involved in the planting of oil palm and pepper.
Another headman, Lajang Manggie, 64, said the Sares project had led to changing lifestyle of the villagers.
Before this Sares project came about, each unit in the longhouse had to spend around RM200 a month on diesel to run their generator to produce electricity. Now, we are delighted to enjoy free electricity, said Lajang of the 77-door Rh Lajang at Sungai Linei Hilir.
The headman of 35-door Rh Asong in Sungai Tutoh, Asong Jaban, said the Sares project was a life changer for them.
Before there was this project (Sares), we had to endure being in the dark after sundown. Now, day and night, we can simply turn on the switch to light up our houses, said the 76-year-old.
With 24-hour electricity the children can now revise their school work at night while the womenfolk can continue with their creative and design works like sewing and weaving handicrafts at night.
This project proves that the Sarawak government is concerned about the needs of the rural people, he said.
The opening ceremony of the Sares project was officiated at by Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala representing Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi.
It is part of Phase 2 of the Sares project in Baram to light up nine villages with 24-hour renewable electricity. Fifteen villages (longhouses) in the Baram have already been lighted up under Phase 1 of the project.
Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini, Marudi District Council chairman Cr Edward Mendai, SEB Research and Development vice president Dr Chen Shiun and its Corporate Communication general manager Peing Tajang were also present at the opening ceremony.
Source: SARAWAK GOVERNMENT