Sares lights up 725 more homes

Abdul Hamed (right) hands over the Sares project to Long Pilah chief, Sageng Wan, witnessed by Abang Johari (centre).

TELANG USAN

MIRI: More than 6,000 residents from 725 households in Telang Usan now have 24-hour power supply under the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) project.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was present in Long Pilah, Telang Usan yesterday to officially hand over the newly installed Sares systems and to commemorate the successful training of residents from the 13 beneficiary villages.

According to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) in a statement, the villages are Long Pilah, Long Luteng, Long Daloh Bestari, Long Miri, Long Tebangan, Long Liam Keliman, Long Sobeng, Long Selapun, Long Sebatang, Long Sengung, Long Pala, Long Buah, and Long Buken.

Long Pilah, with a population of about 2000, is located along the banks of the Baram River and is a 90-minute drive (by timber track) from Lapok and about five hours’ drive from Miri City.

At the event, Abang Johari was joined by Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Deputy Speaker and Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala; Assistant Minister for Utilities (Rural Electricity) Datuk Liwan Lagang; Baram MP Anyi Ngau; Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau; officers from the Utilities Ministry and relevant agencies and community leaders.

SEB was represented by its chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi, vice president for rural electrification Dr Chen Shiun and the Sares team.

According to Hamed in a statement, SEB will continue to provide technical support after the handover, if required.

“Sares is designed to be sustainable and involves the community from the planning through to the implementation phase. The Sares team will continue to provide technical support and training to the beneficiary communities on basic operations and maintenance to keep the systems running smoothly,” he said.

Meanwhile, SEB also said that more than 20,000 residents from about 2,500 households in 51 remote villages in Telang Usan have enjoyed a steady supply of electricity since Sares was introduced in 2016.

By the end of 2021, Telang Usan will be fully supplied with electricity when the renewable solar-powered systems are installed in another 21 villages in the area.