NGO plans to build more micro-hydro projects in Baram

A family at Long Liam rejoices over the electricity supply they received on Jan 12, 2018 from a micro-hydro project at Long Liam, Baram.

By Roslan Mutu

KUCHING, Jan 15: After successfully implementing a micro-hydro project (MHP) at Long Liam, SAVE Rivers Sarawak plans to erect such projects in other villages in Baram, too.

Its project coordinator, Bryan Anderson, said they had conducted feasibility studies in some villages with hydropower potential, such as Ba’ Abang and Long Apu.

“We hope to proceed with these projects as soon as possible,” Bryan told DayakDaily today.

He revealed that the project at Long Liam cost about RM200,000, and it is benefitting about 50 families. The project was officially handed over to the villagers during the weekend.

The MHP was actually built by the villagers with guidance from civil society organisations (CSO) such as SAVE Rivers, Tonibung, Bruno Manser Fund, Green Empowerment and Seacology.

Bryan Anderson

Long Liam villager Boyce Anyie commented that the completion of the project showed that rural electrification could be implemented without large dams. Hence, they had opposed the construction of the Baram hydroelectric dam.

The villagers appealed to the government to help protect their water catchment area.

“Logging in the water catchment area will lead to siltation and threaten the long-term sustainability of the micro-hydro project,” cautioned Boyce.

A group of volunteers rejoicing over the completion of a micro-hydro project at Long Liam, Baram, on Jan 12, 2019.

Meanwhile, SAVE Rivers Sarawak chairman Peter Kallang announced that the Clean Energy Collaboration (CEC) conference would be held in Kuching from March 15-16 this year.

The conference will bring together key stakeholders for a discussion on sustainable and inclusive energy pathways for Sarawak and Malaysia.

Peter Kallang

“The goal is to discuss concrete pathways to achieve economically and environmentally sustainable energy systems that address energy poverty and energy needs for development in Malaysia.

“We, in SAVE Rivers, support sustainable development. We are ready to discuss and cooperate with the state as well as the federal governments on sustainable energy. That is why we are organising the CEC in March. We look forward to their long-term participation and cooperation,” said Kallang.

For more information on the CEC, visit https://saverivers.org/cleanenergycollab/.— DayakDaily