Lighting up longhouse life with micro hydro

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Mong (third left) during his visit to the micro hydro dam facility.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Since the 1960s, most of the Rh Laroh residents in Lingga, Sri Aman have been using candles, lamps, kerosene and diesel electric generators in their daily lives.

Thanks to Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) recently completed micro hydro project, Ulu Semulong Micro Hydro, Rh Laroh longhouse made up of 35 families is now equipped with electricity.

Researchers from the Centre of Renewable Energy (CREN) at Faculty of Engineering designed a system to generate power up to 3KW.

Since micro hydro generates power using the natural flow of water, the project site is located on a Lingga tributary and at the Wong Bayan waterfall.

This free electricity source has eased the financial burden of the villagers as they no longer need to use costly diesel generators which also produce smoke and an unpleasant noise.

The electrical supply generated is enough for basic usage such as lights, fans, a low-powered refrigerator, television, radio besides processing rice, pepper, rubber and so on.

A research centre has also been built near the micro hydro dam.

According to the press statement, the project was a success story thanks to the encouraging commitment of the villagers.

CREN also has been studying, researching and developing the socio-economic status of the villagers before, during and after process of the micro hydro installation.

The centre hoped that this will be an example and a model for projects similar in area others especially in the interior of Sarawak and for the people in need.

The project was officially launched and handed over to residents of Rh Laroh by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Datuk Mong Dagang on May 3.

Also present during the launching was Unimas vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Mohamad Kadim Suaidi.

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