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Micro dam gives light to Kg Buayan-Tiku
Published on: Tuesday, December 03, 2019
By: Jeremy S Zabala


Rugged terrain visitors or villagers have to endure to reach Kampung Buayan.
PENAMPANG: The folks in Kg Buayan-Tiku, 18km from Penampang township and barely accessible during rainy weather now enjoy electricity for lighting the 20-30 households, refrigerators and appliances made possible by Shell, NGO Tonibung and Pacos Trust.

The supply is from a micro hydro system whose construction is based on the adaption of a hydro dam. But instead of blocking the whole river flow, the existing river flow is divided where half is redirected to a small dam which is then channeled to the turbine generators via pipes.

The water that helps spin the turbines is channeled back to the main river flow which makes the system capable of producing energy such as the hydro dam but on a micro scale without neglecting or disrupting the original river flow.

State Education and Innovation Assistant Minister Jenifer Lasimbang said the Kampung Buayan–Tiku micro hydro system is among seven facilities erected the past 15 years in the district, particularly in Moyog constituency. The first was established in the neighboring village of Kampung Terian.

They no longer have to rely on candles or generators to light up their homes. 

“We harness the (existing) resource (to produce electricity) and at the same time (this system) acts as an educational experience for the local community to preserve the water catchment,” she said after the Kg Buayan–Tiku micro hydro handing over to the village folks, recently.

Present were Tinobung Founder and Technical Advisor Senator Adrian Lasimbang, Sabah Shell Petroleum Company General Manager Prithipal Singh, Kg Buayan MPKK Marius Limaat besides village folks.

 

  Technical member of Tinobung explaining to visitors how the turbines operate.

The system produces electricity by adapting the hydro-electric concept used in dams.

Excess energy is transferred to a ballast which converts electricity into heat energy.

Jenifer said the heat could be used for other purposes involving downstream production such as dried fruits or salted fish which can be a way to increase the socio-economic standing of the people.

“We have access in terms of fruits or recourses that could be dried with the ballast that (is converted to heat) from the unused energy.

“We make sure to promote renewable energy and not ruin or spoil the environment,” she added.

Some 30kw energy is supplied to 20 to 30 households. Usage is limited to several types of electrical appliances but not for ironing or boiling water.

The environmental friendly system, was acknowledged by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Ministry (Mestecc) Minister Yeo Bee Yin during a visit recently.

Sabah Shell contributed RM300,000 as well as manpower. Tonibung (Friends for Village Development), Pacos Trust and Sabah Skills Training Centre were also involved.

Adrian said the total cost for the programme included improving parts of the road as well as creating a new path to the micro dam.

“Total grant we received was RM300,000. Part of the extra cost went to repair the road (leading to the village) for about 6km. We had to clear the way as the road was not in good condition.

“We also had to build a small route to the dam which was about 400m from the micro hydro system,” he said.

As the second successful project after Pensiangan, Prithipal there will be future plans to establish more such renewable energy systems that could benefit Sabahans, particularly in rural districts.

 

 Prithipal (left) handing over the key to Marius (right) while Adrian (second left) and Jenifer (second right) witnessed the event.

“We are very happy that this project has been completed and the villagers are able to receive electricity. Hopefully this will improve the quality of life here.

“As for Shell it has been a great example where we partner with the local communities. We also contributed our time and effort as volunteers in the project.

“This has allowed our staff to build a relationship with the State and local communities and allowed the project to move faster than we have originally anticipated,” he said.

He said Shell is carrying out evaluation to determine candidate villages where this type of project will be implemented and once a particular village has been identified, further planning will be carried out to engage relevant parties and the local folks to ensure repetitive initiatives could be implemented.

He acknowledge the support of the local four-wheel drive association that was of tremendous help in ferrying personal and transporting materials for the project.

 



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