Sunday, October 30, 2011

Politics of mini hydro in Lacau-hidden story revealed!

Barnie Lasimbang(L) and Niloh(R) in BB Cafe in KK
We published a story of a mini hydro in Kg Abok Mawang, Lachau previously. It was reportedly a story of community self-help and gotong royong. There was more to this story that met the eyes, according to Banie Lasimbang, an laternative energy consultant who has installed more than a couple of dozens of mini hydros before in Sabah and Sarawak in the last decade. The story was shocking: the original beneficiary of the mini hydro project was another kampong (Kg Apin?) -but due to the `generous' contribution by local `YBs' the power was supplied to Kg Abok Mawang-which was as far as the YB's generosity could reach! The people involved ignored the consultant's suggestion to modify the design slightly so that there would be enough power to supply to both villagers!

This is scandalous! That may explain more why there have not been as many mini hydros as interior Sarawakians may want! Lesson: if you can build something on self-sufficient basis you have more say on how the benefits would be distributed ie you can have more hope of doing justice to all parties involved. If you have YBs with agendas `chipping' in they buy their way into a position to divert the whole intention of the project!
From the previous reports you did not read the following:
1. The original instigator of the mini hydro project Jacob Emang was disappointed with the outcome of the project that he started;
2. Many other helpers were also disappointed eg SADIA's Secretary General Nicholas Mujah;
However the mini hydro is lying idle after SESCO was shamed into extending the power lines to the kampongs around Lacau. This may well be the only positive outcome from the unspeakable episode!
Next time when you read of a news which could be too good to be true: look around for alternative sources/commentaries to balance your knowledge about it!
We hereby apologise to readers for unknowingly passing on a `good' news!

Good news from my meeting with Barnie on Oct 26th in Kota Kinabalu: he is willing to offer his expertise to install the mini hydros for Bengoh folks-from workshop to learn to make accurate measurement of the essential data of the site and to installation, including fund raising! This is an offer that is hard to refuse!

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