COMMUNITY BASED MICRO HYDRO FOR RURAL ELECTRIFICATION IN ULU PAPAR, SABAH
Executive Summary
This project is built upon successful Community Micro Hydro implemented by TONIBUNG in collaboration with Era Wira Sdn. Bhd in 11 villages in Malaysia. The proposed project on the Micro Hydro is a multifocal project which aims at addressing: (a) a community-based watershed management system; (b) conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources; and (c) the promotion of alternative income generation and sustainable livelihood through environmentally sound socio-economic activities that will mitigate the contribution towards the impacts on climatic changes.

In today’s era of information and communication technology, electricity supply is the most essential infrastructure for development. Electricity is also the key infrastructure enhancement to provide for job opportunity and vital income for village residents. However, numerous rural communities in Sabah and Sarawak are still without electricity services. This is a limiting factor in socio-economic development, education, and healthcare. Rural electrification through “conventional methods” such as grid connection and diesel generators is either very costly, or - in the case of grid extensions – simply not in the plans for the foreseeable future. These conventional methods result in emissions that are harmful to human health and the environment. The rise of fuel prices in recent years have rendered many of these isolated diesel generators un-operational due to high maintenance costs .

Results from the preliminary feasibility studies (May 2010 and August 2011) conducted by TONIBUNG and Era Wira Sdn. Bhd indicate that the proposed project area in Kg. Tiku has the potential to develop five kilowatts (5 Kw) Micro Hydro system, based on the volume of water and head available, for the basic lighting needs and supporting socio economic activities of the local communities. The general lighting will improve the basic health qualities of the communities, in addition to providing alternative income generation and sustainable livelihood of the villagers.

Additionally, the ten kilowatt (10 Kw) Micro-Hydro system in Kg. Buayan is in need of an upgrade. Funded by SGP and completed in 2009, the village has suffered from frequent power shortages in the dry season. This problem can be easily solved with the installment of a second intake at a nearby waterfall site, and the corresponding civil structure to supplement the existing water flow.

The Dusun community of Kampung Tiku is situated on the border of the Crocker Range Park. It is only accessible by 2 hours of 4WD plus another 2 hours of hiking through narrow trails along dense jungle or 20 minutes helicopter from Kota Kinabalu. At the present time, Kg. Tiku consists of 12 Houses with 18 households. Livelihoods in the village are predominantly subsistence-based, largely dependent on the hunting of animals in the forest, fishing along the Papar river, gathering of fruits and vegetables in nearby gardens, and planting hill paddy or rice. Occasionally, income is generated from providing porter and guide service for hikers hiking the ancient salt trail that traverses the Croker Range Park.

The women are largely homemakers and gatherers of vegetables and firewood. The smoke emitting from the burning of firewood for cooking, and the use of kerosene lamps are hazardous to the general health of household residents. The underdevelopment and geographical isolation of the villagers has contributed significantly to their poverty.

Objectives:

Construction of Micro Hydro system in Kg Tiku and upgrading of Kg Buayan Micro hydro

New 5kw micro hydro system will be constructed to provide clean renewable energy for 200 villagers in Kg Tiku and upgrading works for the water intake of Kg. Buayan Micro hydro system through gotong royong. This will further enhanced the previous initiative funded by GEF SGP.

Community-based capacity building in Micro Hydro and watershed management

The Dusun community in the proposed project of Kg. Tiku is in urgent need of capacity enhancement to ensure successful implementation and management of the Micro Hydro and its watershed. This will be accomplished through consultancy, centralized training and assisting the community in the implementation of the project. The centralized training will be conducted by TONIBUNG in collaboration with other NGOs in its Innovative Skills Training Centre (ISTC). The training will be specific to the technical aspect of a Micro Hydro system and the management of the system, including the watershed and community mobilizing.

Campaign to raise awareness
The proposed project will conduct follow-up campaign(s) to enhance the awareness among the communities in the proposed project site and its surrounding areas in the importance of conserving the watershed, which includes land, forest and rivers. It is also aimed at raising the awareness of power utilization and enhancing end uses of the energy available from the Micro Hydro system for socio-economic activities. Exposure visit program will be organize to give exposure to the community leaders, youths and women on similar initiative in other communities.

Project Activities:

Implementation of Micro Hydro in phases:?
Phase 1: Initial ground work for intake and power house?
Phase 2: Civil works – penstock and intake system?
Phase 3: Electrical works – power line and house wiring?
Phase 4: Mechanical and electrical works – installation of turbine and generator Phase 5: Training
- Awareness campaign and community workshop
- Capacity building and training
- Training will be organized and conducted on four primary areas: (a) the importance of watershed and of its various components; (b) watershed management; (c) Micro Hydro system; and (d) operations and maintenance of a Micro Hydro system.
- Community mapping & Formulation of watershed management plan
- Community mapping will be done to mark the boundary and produce a map of the site for an effective management plan. Once the watershed is mapped, a watershed management plan will be formulated to ensure sustainability of the Micro Hydro system and to ensure that the eco-system in the watershed area is protected.
- Additional field trainings will be held in Kampung Tiku for micro-hydro operators from previous projects. The costs for their travel and training are covered under a grant from the National Geographic Society.

Expected Outputs:

Construction of Micro hydro
This project will implement 3rd Micro hydro system in this remote area further eliminating the use of fossil fuels for generators thus reducing emissions of green house gasses that contributes to climate change.
Capacity building
The proposed project is expected to enhance the capacity of the community in management. The community will gain an understanding of: (a) the principles of watershed management, (b) power and its uses, and (c) the operation and maintenance of a Micro Hydro system.
For the first time, a micro-hydro project will actually be used as a formal training site for community participants who will be training under TONIBUNG, funded by the National Geographic Society’s “Native Innovation” program. This means that select participants from communities all over Malaysia will be involved in the implementation of the Tiku micro-hydro project, learning how to build a micro-hydro project from the ground up.
Awareness campaign & Formulation of management plan
Awareness of the communities in the project site and surrounding areas will be enhanced as will the establishment of community-based workshops. As the project proceeds, a management plan for the watershed will be formulated, protocols will be drawn and an enforcement mechanism will be set up to ensure successful implementation and timely completion.
Environment sustainability and Sustainable livelihoods
Since the sustainability of the system depends on the health of the watershed, environmental stewardship will figure strongly throughout the duration of this project and in the years following. With the increased awareness of the communities and the formulation of the watershed maps and protocol, it is hoped that the watershed will be protected from encroachment and unplanned clearing of forest for agriculture.
The micro hydro system will also contribute to the reduction of emissions from diesel and petrol generators. The micro hydro system will replace the use of 2 diesel generators and 2 petrol generators displacing 1500 liters/ month of fossil fuel or 3500 kg of geo-carbon emissions a month.
The electricity will able to support power tools in the Community workshop used for blacksmithing. Small tools and lighting for Women’s Craft centre and community freezer to preserve food will be able to increase possible income.

 

Project Snapshot

Grantee: TONIBUNG (TObpinai NIngkokoton koBUruon kampuNG)
Country: Malaysia
Area Of Work: Climate Change Mitigation
Operational Phase: Phase 5
Grant Amount: US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 38,500.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 31,334.00
Project Number: MAL/SGP/OP5/Y2/STAR/CC/12/17
Start Date: 11/2012
End Date: 6/2014
Status: Satisfactorily Completed