KUCHING, Oct 31 — The Sarawak government has allocated RM2.37 billion for rural electrification projects for 2019 and 2020 with the target of achieving full electrification in the rural parts of the state by 2025, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today.
He said that in 2009, rural electricity coverage was only at 56 per cent while the latest figure this year revealed that 93 per cent of rural households have already received power supply.
“We will step up our efforts to ensure every household is provided with electricity in the next five years,” he said when officiating a Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES) at Long Pilah in Telang Usan, a rural settlement about 760km north of here.
Also attending the event were Sarawak Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker and Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala and Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Hamed Sepawi.
By the end of 2021, he said Telang Usan district will be fully electrified once renewable solar-powered systems are installed in another 21 villages in the area.
Commenting on the SARES, Abang Johari said that the scheme has made a difference to the lives of over 8,000 households in more than 270 villages in the most remote areas of Sarawak since it was first introduced in 2016.
He said under this innovative government-community initiative, the Sarawak government, through its project implementer, Sarawak Energy, has provided renewable, decarbonised and reliable 24/7 energy to about 60,000 rural residents who live in Sarawak’s hinterland, replacing noisy and expensive diesel generators.
Since its introduction in 2016, more than 20,000 residents from about 2,500 households in 51 remote villages in Telang Usan have received power supply under SARES.
These SARES projects have supplied power to the homes of more than 6,000 residents from 725 households in 13 villages, namely, 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. — Bernama