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Long Itam Folk Happy To Have 24-Hour Electricity

TELANG USAN: Residents of Long Itam, located within the Patah-Abang River here, are a happy lot after their longhouse was lighted up with 24-hour electricity supply following the completion of a solar power project under the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares).

Village chief Ken Balan said his more than 130 charges consider themselves lucky as their 36-door longhouse is among the earliest to be supplied with solar-powered 24-hour electricity.

Our financial burden is now lifted as before, we had to buy diesel to provide power (via generators), and even then it was not 24-hour supply, he said during the launching of the RM1.8-million project yesterday.

Ken also extended his thanks to the Sarawak government, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau and Sarawak Energy Berhad for solving their electricity woes.

He said even though the longhouse had a diesel-powered generator, many units remained dark at night as residents were unable to afford light bulbs.

But that is now history as every household is lighted up and this gives a new lease of life to my people, he added.

In his officiating speech, Dennis said the Sarawak government, viaSares, is targeting to achieve 100 per cent rural electrification by 2021.

To-date, 43 out of 83 longhouses in Telang Usan constituency have been connected with electricity supply, meaning less than half are yet to be powered, he said.

He also reminded the longhouse residents to take good care of the solar project and to follow instructions and advice from Sarawak Energy personnel to prevent untoward incidents from happening.

At the event, Dennis announced minor rural project (MRP) funds of RM5,000 to Long Itam’s security and development committee (JKKK), RM5,000 to Long Itam Church, and RM2,000 to the longhouse’s women church bureau.


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