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SESB: Power supply to KB villages hampered by outstanding issues
Published on: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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SESB: Power supply to KB villages hampered by outstanding issues
Kg Sogoh is one of 19 villages in Kota Belud which has yet to receive a power supply.
OUTSTANDING issues, involving the infrastructure set up by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry at 19 Kota Belud villages seven years ago, are preventing Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) from extending a supply to those living in these areas.

A spokesman for SESB said electricity poles and cables were put in place in 2017 – under the Rural Electrification Project – at Kg Bukid Kembura, Kg Gaur, Kg Pinolobu, Kg Takulung, Kg Lumpios, Kg Lasau Minunsud, Kg Botung, Kg Sogoh, Kg Tengkurus, Kg Gondukut, Kg Lahanas, Kg Taginambur Jaya, Kg Tamalang, Kg Bukit Bendera, Kg Tororobo Tuguson, Kg Talungan, Kg Teguson, Kg Nahaba and Kg Toburon. 

The company formally requested an update on the status of the Project from the agency late last year, according to him.

This Kota Belud youngster points to the wooden housing where the electricity meter for her house should be.

“In our letter, we also sought the Ministry’s input on the direction of the work which was still being implemented by its appointed contractor,” he said.

He said the individual met with staff at SESB’s Kota Belud branch office last week to talk about a potential way forward.

“We were made to understand that about 80 per cent of the Project had been completed so far.

“The contractor is apparently arranging to obtain an allocation from the Ministry to finish the remaining 20 per cent of the work. 

“Once this is done, we can proceed to finalising the ‘tapping points’ to our grid in the district.”

 He was responding to feedback from a Kota Belud resident about the difficulty he had experienced in getting an electricity supply, let alone a meter, at his home in Kg Sogoh.

TOMAS claimed that cables were erected and connections were made to several premises in this part of town “years ago”.

However, no supply has ever been channelled to these households, according to him.

“I have enquired with the relevant parties about this problem but, so far, but yet to receive a satisfactory response as to why the poles and overhead lines were put up in the first place,” he said.

Taman Landmark consumers have been experiencing multiple blackouts over the past few months.

Tomas said many of those living in the village had to depend on a generator to get by.

“We have to spend a few hundred ringgit each month on fuel for our respective generators.”  

He estimated that about 1,000-plus individuals resided in Kg Sogoh which is located about 15kilometres away from the town.

The spokesman said SESB had yet to assume responsibility for the pertinent electrical amenities from the Ministry because the Project still had not been finished.

“These installations can only be commissioned once we have received the hand-over documents,” he said.

“When the system for the villages has been fully energised, only then can our staff begin accepting and processing applications from those living in Kg Sogoh. 

“This will enable us to begin putting electricity meters in the applicants’ homes.”

Meanwhile, the company has been keeping tabs on the supply to Taman Landmark Phase 1 in a bid to minimise the outages in this part of Penampang.

Another SESB spokesman said a check of its records revealed that feeder trips had disrupted the power to the neighbourhood on several occasions over the past few months.

He said separate sections of the “Low and High Tension jumpers” – servicing the area – had also snapped, triggering outages over the same period.

“A voltage system improvement was carried out recently to try and mitigate the inconvenience caused by these power woes,” he said.

“We have also asked our staff to make periodic checks of our assets here to ensure that these installations are operating as they should.”

LYNETTE of Penampang expressed her dissatisfaction about the frequent blackouts in Taman Landmark Phase 1, saying that these disruptions were especially intolerable given the hot weather which the State Capital had been experiencing off late.

“I also fear that my household appliances might become damaged because of these outages,” she said.

She said the power cuts took place at different times of the day and night, some lasting minutes while others went on for hours.

Lynette said the disruptions had been going on for some time and couldn’t understand why SESB had not acted to reduce these occurrences.

“Whatever action has been taken, so far, has not been effective, as the outages have persisted.

“I hope the company will come up with a strategy to solve our electricity problems once and for all.”

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