Thursday, January 24, 2013

Micro-hydro to benefit Kg Tiku folks in Penampang

Micro hydro project kg tiku Penampang
L-R: UNDP's Lai Sook Mei, TONIBUNG's Adrian Lasimbang and Kg Tiku folk Mozes Gisu.
Credit: Daily Express photo.

A community project coordinated by TONIBUNG, a local non-governmental organisation costing US$50,000 will benefit 18 families in Kampung Tiku Penampang.

This is indeed a welcomed effort of individuals leading to the provision of grant by the GEF Small Grants Programme (a corporate programme implemented by UNDP). Kudos to them!

The micro-hydro system

The micro hydro system is expected to produce 5kW of renewable energy harnessed from the flow of a river in the village. Taking 80% load factor, for example, each family will get 220W of power round the clock. This will power up four 36W fluorescent lamps and one ceiling fan. Also, it is good enough to charge mobile phones (if the area is covered by cellular signal).

Kg Tiku is reachable on 4-wheel drive vehicles for a one and a half hour drive along a timber track. Because of this, it is very difficult to connect the village to the existing SESB power grid.

Among others, the project will benefit the villagers by enabling them to produce more handicrafts, children enjoy longer hours to do school works, and more importantly the people will no longer depend on gasoline/diesel generators which is expensive to operate.

What is there for the environment

UNDP and TONIBUNG believe that having the system in place would give the local communities the incentive to protect their watershed areas. I personally believe this is really the case as we had similar previous experience with Kg Babagon Toki (a school at the far end of Babagon Dam catchment area).

When you get the folks involved in programmes to protect the environment they tend to have some sort of sense of belonging. Of course there's a little bit of 'carrot' given away in the process. But it is a win-win deal.

Through similar programme, two other villages in the Ulu Kaiduan area not far from Kg Tiku have enjoyed similar facilities. They are Kg Buayan and Kg Terian.

Big thanks to the guys who made this possible!


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