Wong (fourth left), Tuai Rumah Naning (third left) and others while visiting Rumah Naning at Ulu Pasai Engkabang.

SIBU: Eleven longhouses in remote areas of Dudong constituency have been given help by the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Dudong Branch to apply for the Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) to be implemented in their areas.

The longhouses are Rumah Jackson Sibat in Nanga Assan, Rumah Anggau Minggat (Sungai Pasai Tengah), Rumah Vinchai Jimie (Tanjung Kerto), Rumah Dayong Sabak (Ulu Sungai Assan), Rumah Julie Pasi (Batu 12, Sungai Terentang, Jalan KJD), Rumah Lini Sudin (Sungai Assan Nunggang), Rumah Gundah Sipuok (Sungai Assan), Rumah Lyn Banyih (Sungai Durin), Rumah Jackson Jelian (Batu 16, Jalan Oya), Rumah Munggai Entri (Ulu Pasai Engkabang) and Rumah Naning Salleh (Ulu Pasai Engkabang).

SUPP Dudong Branch chairman Wong Ching Yong said the electricity supply was the main basic need of the people and was very much needed like water.

He explained that the applications for the longhouses were submitted by SUPP Dudong Branch to Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom in December 2019 and June of this year.

“Applications for electricity supply are under the RES. For water supply, some of these longhouses have also been provided with fresh water while others have not. However, for longhouses without this facility, we will also help them apply.

“With the help and support of Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, permanent secretary to Ministry of Utilities Datuk Alice Jawan and political secretary to the chief minister Romeo Christopher Tegong, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) Sibu Branch have begun a survey of the locations of all 11 longhouses,” he said in a statement on Sunday (Jul 12).

Wong said he was determined to ensure that one hundred percent of the longhouses in the Dudong constituency are able to enjoy electricity and water supply by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Wong and SUPP Dudong Branch committee members last week visited Rumah Naning Salleh, one of the remote longhouses in Dudong.

“Rumah Naning is located at Ulu Pasai Engkabang which is 32 kilometres from Sibu town. After reaching Jalan Batu 20 Oya, we took a 12-kilometre rocky road before reaching Naning House. It took 40 minutes.

“This is one of the 11 longhouses in Dudong that still do not have electricity and fresh water supply,” he said.

A site review by SEB Sibu Branch for Rumah Naning was also conducted on the same day he and his committee visited the longhouse.

“The presence of SEB Sibu Branch to inspect the site will definitely bring joy and great hope to the residents of Rumah Naning who have been waiting for electricity supply for the past 30 years.

“The residents of Rumah Naning also told me that they still rely on wells from nearby hills as well as rain water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing. During the dry season, they had to seek the help of the Sibu Water Board to supply water directly to their home,” he said.

Wong said that about 20 years ago, the water in Pasai Siong River was clean enough to be used for cooking, washing clothes, drinking and bathing.

However, he stressed that since the existence of the nearby oil palm plantation, the river water is no longer suitable and safe to use.

Following this, Tuai Rumah Naning also asked for his help to apply to the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) for the supply of fresh water to his longhouse and also the longhouses in the vicinity.