Project: Solar Lights, Tutus
Date: 18th – 21st December 2014
Number of people benefited: 9 long houses
In Nanga Tutus, Sibu, villager folks need not have to risk falling off their wooden walkway into the Batang Igan river, as installed solar lamps are now light up the platform.
In this first solar street light project by Impian Sarawak, some 23 solar-powered lamps were installed along a 900m main plank walkway that links seven longhouses flanking the Batang Igan River in Sibu. Over 700 folks living here in Nanga Tutus have benefited from this project. Given that there’s zero power supply in the village (even though they are located only about 20km from Sibu town), it gets pitch dark at night and villagers have had to resort to using torch lights even when they walk along the walkway.
There is also the danger of them falling into the river when there is no proper lighting in place. This can be attributed to several contributing factors - one of it being that each time a boat passes, the ripples caused by it would hit the walkway, causing a slight tremor and thus unbalanced footing for whoever who walks past. During times of high tides, water level could rise up to the same height as the plank walkway, making it unsafe for villagers especially primary school children who have no choice but use it to get to their nearby school every day.
Prior to the installation of these lamps, some of the folks had also been provided with a workshop training session pertaining to the installation and maintenance of the solar system, which was conducted by the solar lighting supplier. The villagers got together and managed to jointly fundraise RM3,000 on their own, which contributed to the cost for solar lamps and in which they set up their own committee that took charge of the installation as well as the after-project maintenance care. As of today, the solar street lamps are still in good working condition while the villagers are glad for the sense of belonging over a project that means the world to them, that is, not having to worry about their children and their own safety when accessing the walkway either at dawn or night.