KUDAT: A Petronas-funded solar-powered energy system and more in the offing is bringing smiles, comfort and pride to the people of three remote villages in Banggi Island, which is more than an hour’s boat ride from the Kudat mainland.
The system was installed at the suraus of the three villages, namely Kampung Dogoton, Kampung Semayan and Kampung Rahmat, which have a total of population of about 1,400 who are mostly Muslims from the Bajau Ubian community.
The installation of the solar-powered energy system at the suraus of Kampung Dogoton, Kampung Semayan and Kampung Rahmat was completed last month. The villagers have been living without energy facilities for generations before the project was executed.
Awang Madhari, 51, who is the imam of Kampung Dogoton, said before the villagers received the free solar energy system, the surau had to rely on a petrol-powered generator set but could not sustain the system due to the maintenance cost which he has to bear with.
“This solar-energy facility really means a lot to us. It’s more comfortable performing prayers at the surau now that we can switch on the light, use a microphone and fans,” said the Bajau Ubian to reporters after the launch of the programme by State Rural Development Assistant Minister Datuk Seri Ruddy Awah, here, Saturday.
Kudat is located 190km North-East of Kota Kinabalu, It is the northernmost district in Sabah with an area of 1,287 square kilometres.
The programme, carried out in collaboration with the State Ministry of Rural Development, will be followed up by the installation of the system at 140 homes in the three villages, expected to be completed by September this year, benefiting some 700 residents.
The system was funded by Petronas, through its subsidiary Petronas Floating LNG (PFLNG) as part of its social impact programme to uplift the lives of communities around its areas of operation.
PFLNG Chief Executive Officer Azrul Roshazli said with the system’s installation, the beneficiary communities will be able to save on energy expenses and use the savings for other purposes.
“While we play an active role in powering businesses with lower-carbon energy, we are aware that this effort should also be adopted at the community level.
“As a responsible corporate citizen and a progressive cleaner energy solution partner, Petronas remains committed to enriching the lives of the communities where we operate.
“In this case, by bringing access to the communities what was previously inaccessible to them, which is renewable energy,” he said.
Ruddy welcomed the initiative by Petronas, saying that it brings great benefits in uplifting the lives of the residents in the three villages.
“Through this programme, they will have access to clean and free energy to power their daily lives and help them minimise their energy expenses,” said Ruddy, who is also the State Assemblyman for Pitas.