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KUCHING, April 22: Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) is continuing to work with Orang Ulu community leaders and stakeholders of the Bakun Resettlement Scheme in Belaga to maximise the benefits of social investment initiatives for the people of the area.
According to a press release, since acquiring the Bakun HEP from the Ministry of Finance in 2017, the energy development corporation has introduced several initiatives into the resettlement area with a focus on enhancing and uplifting community well-being. Amongst the social investment pillars are cultural heritage preservation, infrastructure enhancement, health and safety programmes, anti-drug campaigns and educational incentives.
Beginning this year, Sarawak Energy is introducing a longhouse adoption programme to the area. The five-year programme will cover the 15 resettled longhouses of around 15,600 residents. The longhouses will be adopted on a rotation basis to streamline efforts in improving support to the individual longhouses.
The first three longhouses of 1,700 villagers selected for 2019 are Uma Ukit (650 villagers, 79 households), Uma Lahanan (800 villagers, 101 households) and Uma Penan Talun (300 villagers, 94 households).
Sarawak Energy will partner the resettlement’s respective longhouse security and development committee or Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JKKK) in arriving at community-oriented solutions for some of the challenges the longhouses continue to face post-resettlement.
The project will focus on improving the longhouse environment through beautification on a gotong-royong basis and improving basic facilities and infrastructure; supporting villagers in their cultural activities for heritage preservation as well as community development programmes and entrepreneurial activities.
This was one of the initiatives discussed and agreed upon at two separate dialogue and engagement sessions in Bintulu recently with the Balui Lake Native Association (BLNA) for upstream community of the Bakun HEP and Belaga Action Committee (BAC) for downstream communities respectively.
The first engagement was with BLNA, Peng Maren Uma (Longhouse Chiefs Association) and the JKKKs of the 15 longhouses at the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme. The session was attended by Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, and Pemanca Tony Kulleh.
The second engagement with BAC was attended by 14 of its committee members led by Temenggong Ajang Sirek together with the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Beatrice Kedoh Tajang.
Representing Sarawak Energy was its general manager for CSR Jiwari Abdullah and Sustainability and Bakun HEP station manager Johnny Wong.
Jiwari described the engagement sessions as a positive development as the meeting gives both sides clarity on how together we can chart the way forward in terms of our social investment efforts.
“We believe that as a socially responsible corporate citizen, we have a role to play and we will continue to engage with our neighbouring communities to better understand their priorities and how we can form a successful and beneficial partnership,” he said. — DayakDaily