Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Kg. Babalitan Micro-Hydro Project Nears Completion

The 5 kilowatt micro-hydro turbine in the Murut village of Kampung Babalitan, Sabah is now installed and up and running.  A few finishing touches remain to be made, including the addition of several more pipes (the Babalitan MHP has two intakes), and the completion of the electrical distribution system.  We expect the system to be fully operational within the month, with the formal launching to be held this October.

After completion, the system will be delivering 24-hour electricity to the homes of Kg. Babalitan's 200 residents.  When power is not needed in the day-time, residents have the option of utilizing the turbine's mechanical energy to power a rice mill that has been integrated with the system.
This project will be the 5th of its kind in the Pensiangan district to have been implemented by local villagers.  These projects have been facilitated by TONIBUNG with support from organizations PACOS Trust, JOAS, Aru Bumi Sabah and Green Empowerment.

5 village-based operators are being trained to maintain and manage the system.  They will be able to perform any basic maintenance and repairs, and will be in communication with TONIBUNG staff after the project has been completed.

The People of Kg. Babalitan put the finishing touches on the 5kilowatt turbine.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Introducing the Long Lamai Micro-Hydro Project

Long Lamai is located in the Ulu Baram area of Sarawak, a rainforest that has been conceded to logging companies for the past twenty years, in spite of protests of the indigenous Kenyah, Kayan, Saban, Punan, Kelabit and Penan tribes that have resided in the area for generations.

The village of Long Lamai houses over 400 sedentary Penan people, who subsist off of rice and forest products such as the sago palm.  Their ancestral rainforest lands have been systematically exploited by the timber company Samling since the late 1990's, but the remaining Penan have managed to adapt to the changing times under the visionary leadership of their young head man, Wilson Bian Belare and his father, Belare Jabu before him.

In partnership with UNIMAS (the University of Malaysia Sarawak), staff and volunteers from TONIBUNG, the Borneo Project and Green Empowerment will be in Long Lamai for the next 3 months to facilitate the construction of a 16 kW micro-hydro power system.  The system will provide the residents of Long Lamai with 24-hour renewable electricity and continue to demonstrate to Malaysia's government and the public that development need not come at the expense of indigenous peoples and the natural environment.  UNIMAS and TONIBUNG have already been working in Long Lamai for several months, constructing a solar-powered village telecenter that enables broadband and telephone access in this remote village.  With renewable power at the telecenter, all that's left is to provide electricity to the 400 village residents.

As with all TONIBUNG projects, the community is at the helm.  TONIBUNG and its partners only play a consultative role in the process, while the locals, who know their forests, rivers and people better than anyone else, are responsible for managing, maintaining, and in large part, building the system.

Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on the Long Lamai Micro-Hydro Project.

Consultation with village and project leaders.

Scouting the lay of the land in preparation for construction of the civil and electrical distribution system.

Long Lamai's residents give their undivided attention at a village meeting.

Garen of Long Lamai discusses the micro-hydro project at the community telecenter.

Johan Sipail of TONIBUNG learns how to play the keringot, the Penan nose flute.
*All photographs courtesy of Sze Ning of Center of Orang Asli Concerns.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Distinguished Energy Professor Daniel Kammen joins Sabah's Indigenous Peoples in the Fight for Clean Energy

Crossing the Papar River
Daniel Kammen, professor of energy at University of California Berkeley and LEAP board member, paid us a visit to discuss strategies in initiating Sabah’s progress towards a green economy.  Daniel’s Energy Resources Group (ERG) was a critical ally in building the campaign that led to the cancellation of a 300 MW coal plant in Lahad Datu. The discussions occurred in conjunction with the launch of the Southeast Asia Renewable Energy Peoples’ Assembly (SEAREPA) – a collaborative space to discuss and strengthen community-based renewable energy initiatives in the region.

In the spirit of supporting Sabah’s transition into community-based renewables, Daniel joined TONIBUNG, Green Empowerment and LEAP representatives in a trek through the Crocker Range rainforest.  The destinations were the micro-hydro powered villages of Terian and Buayan.  The micro-hydro power systems (5 KW and 10KW respectively), are owned, managed and maintained by the people of Terian and Buayan, and supported by community organizations PACOS Trust and TONIBUNG (Friends of Village Development). 

Daniel, Adrian Lasimbang of TONIBUNG and Gabriel Wynn of Green Empowerment at Irene Tani's house with the people of Kampung Buayan after community consultations
The two village communities are among several others who face relocation as a result of the proposed Kaiduan Dam.  The team was able to offer input on the campaign to halt the dam’s development by speaking to the Anti-Kaiduan Dam Task Force, led by Buayan’s own Irene Tani.  After dinner with the people of Buayan, more residents assembled to talk about additional renewable energy options for the village to supplement the existing hydro system.  

Daniel, Johan of Kampung Terian and Ginus, micro-hydro operator of Kampung Buayan with Buayan's Micro Hydro Turbine

Daniel and the team were quick to highlight the importance of Buayan continuing to take the lead in developing their community using renewable resources, and more importantly, to share their ideas and experiences with other communities.  They also stressed that the story of Buayan- both in terms of their struggle in opposing the Kaiduan dam, and in terms of their ability to take their village’s sustainable development into their own hands- needed to be told.  The SEAREPA will be one space where the voices of Buayan, and others like them throughout Southeast Asia, will be heard.

Making the last crossing home on the Papar River

Friday, 18 May 2012

Micro Hydro Pre-Feasibility study at Tabin

On 8-9th May, we conducted a micro hydro site pre feasibility study at Tabin wildlife sanctuary for Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA). we visited four possible sites around the Tabin wildlife complex. The goal is to find a suitable site to build a micro hydro system that could replace the ageing diesel generators at Tabin. Apart from knowing the hydro potential in Tabin, it was a very educational visit for my team especially on wildlife and conservation of the critically endangred Sumatran Rhinos... lots of sharing from our very dedicated host..senior wildlife conservationist Dr Payne and Dr Zainal.

 site location

 beautiful water fall at site 3

a majestic water fall at site 2... unfortunately too good to be spoiled for micro hydro

Panaromic view of the site 4.. this is the site that have potential up to 40Kw

 meeting si Puntung.. the female Sumatran Rhino currently at Interim Rhino Facility. Si Puntung lost one of her front feet from a poacher's snare.

not very hard to spot wildlife at this place.. they even come to you!

i hope to come back again to Tabin.. look forward for a micro hydro project at this great conservation place..

Monday, 30 April 2012

MHP Turbines Pre-delivery test

We are proud to announce that the Pre-delivery test of the turbine for Babalitan MHP have been a success. hopefully by July we can get the turbine on site and ready for installation and commisioning.

 The nearly completed turbine for Long Lamai

 Representatives from Ranhill to observe the pre-delivery test of Babalitan MHP turbine

Turbine for Babalitan MHP undergoing test at HEKSA Hydro Facility in Bandung, Indonesia

Friday, 13 April 2012

Long Lamai Micro Hydro Project

We have just started a new micro hydro project in Penan community of Long Lamai, Baram, Sarawak. this project is initiated by UNIMAS ISITI-CoERI as part of project to bridge the digital gap. Project is supported by JAPAN ODA. Our team have just concluded the final detailed survey and design. Project target to be completed by Christmas 2012, but this all depends on the logistics and gotong royong

Telecentre at Long Lamai

Measuring the crossection of the river to estimate the flow

 Measuing head and taking point to generate topography for Penstock line

Panaromic View of SK Long Lamai

Monday, 9 April 2012

Babalitan MHP progress

Just came back from our field trip to Kg. Babalitan to monitor the progress of the Micro hydro project. The construction of the community based micro hydro system is well on the way. we have sent the last batch of HDPE pipes for the penstock and started to the materials for the distribution cable. We hope that if everything goes well, all the civil works can be completed by May. Stay tuned for progress of this project

Loading pipes and other materials to long boats at Kuala Salong jetty

Community loading pipes to boats

Monitoring the progress at Intake 1. Weir and small sluice gate is completed. intake 2 have just started construction. hope to complete by end of this month (April 2012)

HDPE pipes on site

Carrying HDPE penstock pipes to site.

Using Butt welding machine to joint the HDPE pipe on site

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Site Visit to Orang Asli Village of Kg. Ulu Semul & Sagong, Pos Betau, Raub, Pahang

We conducted a site visit with Yayasan Daya Diri to Kg Ulu Semul and Sagong to explore the posibility of implementing a community based micro hydro system for the two Orang Asli Village. The proposed Micro Hydro system will have an output of 20Kw and should be able to provide 24hrs electricity to this two Semai Orang Asli community.

 View of Kg Ulu Semul

 Interaction with Orang Asli community

 Orang Asli making roofing from Bertam leaves

 Discussion with Orang Asli community

Sungai Kenip, where the micro hydro will be built

Imbak Canyon Conservation Area Micro Hydro feasibility study

We just concluded a full feasibility study for micro hydro power system at Imbak Canyon Conservation Area. we also explored other renewable energy options for ICCA. Hopefully the Micro hydro will be developed by Yayasan Sabah. It was a very challenging task especially with the weather condition, but dispite all that we completed the study in time.

 view of  Imbak falls

 Measuring the cross section of the stream

 Crossing the swollen Imbak River

The survey team. L-R. Patrick, Banie, Johan and Stanis

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Tonibung on Mt. Kinabalu

The Tonibung crew, working through Era Wira Sdn. Bhd. on a commercial project to install a micro-hydro solar hybrid system on Gunung Kinabalu.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Kampung Babalitan MH Work Begins

The Pensiangan region was very heavily logged in the 80's and 90's. Many of the indigenous Muruts who live here were displaced from their ancestral forests further towards the bigger rivers, where they reside now. Being right next to the Indonesian border, Pensiangan has seen a lot of action during wartime, most notably during the "konfrontasi" with Indonesia.  Now, as energy independence is achieved, the watershed is protected, village economies and indigenous rights are strengthened, the forest and its people are beginning to reclaim this land. Babalitan hosts a school attended by many other children from other villages along the river. In addition, the village is home to almost 300 people.
 Unloading construction materials and equipment at the "port" of Salong, 4 hours from Kota Kinabalu.

The Tonibung crew heading downriver towards Kampung Babalitan.

Kampung Babalitan from a distance.

Community Organizing: Conducting consultations in preparation for the gotong royong the next day.

On-site: Tonibung and the Babalitan crew arrive at the nearby system site- a short boat ride from Babalitan proper.

Doing the math: conducting topographical surveys with the theodolite station.

Constructing the power house: Top- Sand hauled from the river bank in preparation for drying.  Bottom- Cement at the forebay site.

Meal time: At the intake site taking a much needed rest.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Babalitan Micro-hydro

The team will be heading back to the Pensiangan region on the morning of the 3rd to begin work on a 5 kilowatt micro-hydro system for Kampung Babalitan.  This will be Tonibung's 5th project in Pensiangan.  Updates and photos upon our return next week!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tanjung Rambai Micro-Hydro

Here's a blog from one of our volunteers in West Malaysia, helping install the 5 kilowatt micro-hydro at the Orang Asli village of Tanjung Rambai. 


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Community-based Micro-Hydro in Malaysia

Here is a short video about our community-based model for micro-hydro development in Malaysia.

Production and script by Gabriel Wynn, from Green Empowerment
Footage was taken by PACOS, JOAS, TONIBUNG and Green Empowerment Staff/Volunteers
Narration by Jenifer Lasimbang