KUCHING, Dec 23: About 60 villagers from 12 families of Kampung Sg Resat in Padawan are currently living without electricity.
Habitat for Indigenous and Urban Program (Hidup) president George Young Si Ricord said the villagers of Kampung Sg Resat, located about 45 minutes from Kuching, have been waiting in vain over the past 12 years to enjoy the basic facilities such as electricity supply.
Despite the area being covered under the electricity grid, electricity applications by the affected villagers applications and inquiries through local community leadership channels have not made any progress.
“Whenever they enquired, the standard reply has been ‘it is in progress’ from the village committees.
“Based on what I have gathered from their accounts, there seems to be a total lack of concern, urgency and accountability to provide these villagers with such basic necessity,” George said in a statement issued after visiting the affected families yesterday.
He expressed concern over the absence of electricity at the village, saying that safety of villagers are at risk due to the use of kerosene lamps and sharing portable generators, which could lead to fire.
“I think anyone would agree that as we are about to enter 2020, there shouldn’t be any families in Sarawak staying in areas covered by electricity grid yet not have electricity at all. For this village, it has been 12 years and counting. How could this happened for so long?”
Assuring the affected families that they will help to highlight the plight, Hidup will bring the case to the relevant authorities, he continued.
“For the sake of the 12 families and especially their young school going children, we urge all relevant parties, from the local elected representatives to the village leadership committees, to put the people’s welfare and standard of living first and foremost over politics, bureaucracy and other unhelpful agendas,” he said.
The association, through its engagement with rural communities in certain constituencies, opined there is a concerning pattern of rural Sarawakians who have been severely neglected for many years.
In many cases, pleas for assistance or the provision of basic facilities have fallen on deaf ears or lost in the thick layers of bureaucracy and conflicting political agendas, George opined.
“As Sarawakians who care for one another in our beloved homeland, we must all realise that we are only as rich as the poorest and only as strong as the weakest in our society.
“We must not leave anyone behind in progress and prosperity that we work hard to achieve together,” he said.
For further information on Hidup activities, the association can be contacted at 0111-8580528 or 0111-8990528. — DayakDaily