Access to Energy and Clean Water in the Ulu Papar Rainforest, Malaysia

In February 2014, three communities in Ulu Papar, in the Malaysian state of Sabah, embarked on an initiative that would ensure a reliable and sustainable supply of clean energy and water for their homes and schools. This SEPS project has now been successfully concluded.

Green Empowerment and Tonibung played technical support and project management roles in the implementation of this SEPS project, utilising locally manufactured micro-hydro turbines and employing the skills of trained community technicians from Ulu Papar villages.

Our partner organisations worked with the Orang Asal villages of Pongobonon, Kalangaan and Longkogungan to ensure the long-term sustainability of their electricity and water supply, the protection of the watersheds on which they depend, and the development and training of village technicians in the skills necessary to benefit communities like theirs in the years to come.

The villages of Pongobonon, Kalangaan and Longkogungan now enjoy access to 24-hour renewable energy from their micro-hydro systems, as well as clean water supply in their own homes. Six trainees from villages in Ulu Papar formed the backbone of the project implementation team, and all three villages use locally manufactured turbines.

The communities manage their systems through local committees and have developed watershed protection plans to ensure the continued preservation of the forested catchment areas on which these systems rely. Meters have been installed in Pongobonon and Kalangaan, but Longkogungan decided instead to use a flat-rate tariff system.

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