BALEH, Nov 16: Sarawak Energy Bhd held a dialogue session with 11 longhouses at Rumah Nyamok in Nanga Serau, Sungai Gaat, here recently.
It was part of the state-owned energy developer and utility company’s initiative in stepping up its outreach and social investment programme for the communities. It was also aimed at updating the villagers on the progress of work on the proposed Baleh HEP and to enable the residents to tap the socio-economic opportunities of the project.
Team leader for the briefing session cum general manager (Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability) Jiwari Abdullah said Sarawak Energy was committed to work closely with the community in Baleh to ensure the successful implementation of the hydroelectric dam project, which will generate economic opportunities for local businesses as well as provide employment and training opportunities for the people in the area and Sarawak, as a whole.
Jiwari added that Sarawak Energy would continue to organise dialogue sessions with the community in Kapit and Baleh as well as with the consultative committees, such as PKPB and PKNAK, to work on sustainable community development initiatives that addressed the community’s real needs.
“We will strive to maximise the positive impact of the project for the community,” he said in a press statement today.
Baleh HEP project director Tan Chuan Ngan briefed on the project structure, current status and schedule as well as an update on local content participation and informed them on the modes and lines of communication between Sarawak Energy and the community during the construction and dam operation period.
The 1,285MW Baleh HEP is scheduled to be fully commissioned by 2026.
Baleh Community Relations and Liaison head Jantai Maseng spoke on the progress of the Baleh Youth Skills Training programme. He encouraged youths from Sungai Gaat area to participate in the training programme to equip themselves with the necessary skills for greater employment opportunities at the project site.
Meanwhile, Rumah Nyamok headman thanked Sarawak Energy for organising the dialogue session and updating the communities on the current status of the project and the local content opportunities.
“It is through dialogue sessions like this that the communities of Sungai Gaat are better informed of the local content initiatives that have been carried out by Sarawak Energy,” he said.
Member of Parliament for Hulu Rejang Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, who is also the advisor to Pertubuhan Kebajikan Penduduk Baleh (PKPB), called on the residents to work together for the betterment of their community.
He also urged the youths to take advantage of the education and training opportunities offered by Sarawak Energy.
Sarawak Energy has been actively conducting regular engagements in Kapit since 2015 under the principle of free, prior and informed consultation to ensure best practice in hydropower development as stipulated under the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocols (HSAP) of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).
In addition, the sessions were also to enable the local communities to voice their views and feedbacks, which would be taken into account for further action.
Also present were Community Relations asssistant manager Augustine Supen Taja and 150 residents from Rumah Bansa, Rumah Lembang, Rumah Tajai, Rumah Sait, Rumah Jawing, Rumah Kanchin, Rumah Gendang, Rumah Tungku, Rumah Melintang and Rumah Jegai. — DayakDaily