MIRI: Sarawak is seeking the help of Japanese experts in solar and wind power generation to overcome a crippling fuel-shortage problem faced by 10,000 natives in the Bario Highlands near the border of Kalimantan.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said that comprehensive measures would be taken to resolve the problem that had constantly affected the daily lives of the people in the region.
“By harnessing energy from the sun and the wind, we can lessen the dependency on fossil fuel (for generators and vehicles).
“We are still discussing with the Japanese group,” he said at the airport yesterday after returning from a ground and aerial tour of the Bario Highlands.
The Bario residents depend totally on petrol sent from here for their vehicles and to operate their power-generators.
The latest shortage happened late last year. Fuel supply had to be sent there using army helicopters.
Dr Chan, who is also Sarawak Finance, Public Utilities and Industrial Development Minister, said the state government is considering alternative means of sending fuel.
“We are planning to build a road to Bario from Bakelalan (an interior village near Lawas) to provide road access to Bario,” he said.