KAPIT: More than 1,000 residents of 173 households in five longhouses in Belaga here now have access to a free 24-hour renewable energy under the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares).
According to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) in a statement last Friday (Oct 2), Sares, which was funded by the Sarawak government through the Sarawak Utilities Ministry and implemented by SEB, has now lighted up more than 3,100 households in 142 villages in the Kapit division since its introduction in 2016.
It said that overall, the innovative government-community initiative has provided almost 8,000 households in more than 270 villages in remote areas of Sarawak with renewable and reliable 24/7 energy.
SEB said many of the settlements in Belaga do not have access to proper road infrastructure due to their location — deep in Sarawak’s heartlands — which means that conventional electrification via the Sarawak state grid will take a while to reach them.
Meanwhile, a ceremony to commemorate the completion and commissioning of the solar-powered systems was held at Kampung Melayu Hall in Belaga, and Datuk Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister for Utilities (Rural Electricity) officiated at the event on behalf of Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.
“The Ministry of Utilities and SEB will continue to work closely to expedite efforts to provide the same access of electricity to our village folk that the town people have, to improve their standard and quality of life,” he said.
Liwan also congratulated the beneficiaries of Uma Penan, Long Lidem; Uma Penan, Long Abit; Uma Penan, Long Tanyit; Naha Jalei, Long Kabuho; and Uma Punan, Punan Sama and reminded them to take care of the solar-powered systems.
“Exercise care when using electrical appliances and ensure that the internal wiring at homes is safely connected,” he said.
Also present was SEB’s Rural Electrification vice president Dr Chen Shiun.