In 2014, ASSET had embarked on a long-term partnership with the Bawang Assan community. Bawang Assan is an Iban community, located along the Rejang river and is home to 9 longhouses that house around 3,000 dwellers. The community has primary and secondary schools, an Internet centre, a community Methodist church, and a health clinic. ASSET team supported the Bawang Assan community by initiating the first Malaysian rural Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) project for providing Internet access to the longhouses.
Machan town is close to Kanowit Market (26km) and also close to Sibu Town (about 35 minutes). The Machan population estimate is 9,000 people and consists of residents from Nanga Machan to Ulu Machan Machan with 28 longhouses and 12 of them in Ulu Machan Pekan Machan is famous for Tapah Fish. Most of the population of Machan are Ibanese. There are also Chinese people. The socio-economic population of Machan is more focused on agriculture, such as oil palm, pepper, rubber and rice (rice and marsh). There are also a handful of locals picking up forest produce and making handicrafts such as weaving mats, baskets and rattan. In addition, residents in Machan also work in government and private sectors. There are also working as laborers and farmers.
Long Lamai is a remote Penan village in the upper Baram region of Sarawak state in Malaysia Borneo. It is a “remote” and “rural” community without a road access, hospital/clinic, and piped water though having limited power supply and telecommunication services. The population of the village is 600 individuals with 116 houses (Falak, Chin & Wee, 2016). The available infrastructures at Long Lamai consist of a Penan school, a church, a community hall, a micro-hydro, a Telecentre currently not connected to the internet, and a mobile communication tower. Its remoteness and detachment from the official administrative government structure make it a peculiar place, not yet fully connected to and integrated into the market and cash economy. The forest, the river, and some of the surrounding fields of paddy rice are the source of sustenance. Surplus marketization of agricultural products is impossible due to the remoteness of the place. The phenomenon of employment is almost non-existing – only two local people are officially government employee in the village – the headman and a teacher in the primary school. The living conditions vary for different families – few have electricity generators, a good supply of water, connection to the micro-hydro, and restroom facilities.
Long Leng is Penan village and partner of ASSET in “Vulnerability, resilience and learning from climate shocks” project. Long Leng is is located in the Totoh Apoh area of the Baram region of Sarawak and accessible by 4WD with the journey taking around one hour from the nearest town, Long Bedian, which itself is now only a 4-hour drive on logging roads from Miri, the nearest city. Population of Long Leng is around 48 households with approximate 150 habitants. In terms of infrastructure, the village is a recipient of the state utility’s Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES) programme and have been provided with solar home systems for lighting and basic energy service needs. There is limited phone connectivity in the village and the village has government-provided water tanks and a church building and a kindergarten. The main livelihood activities of individuals in the village is agriculture and hunting-gathering from the forest with some women also making handicrafts from rattan which they sell at Long Bedian.
Long Latei is a one of the six partner Penan villages in the ASSET’s “Vulnerability, resilience and learning from climate shocks” project. Long Latei is home to 5 longhouses, 200 households and 1000 individuals and only accessible on a 6 hours 4WD via a logging road from the nearest town Miri. The Penan of Long Latei shifted to semi-nomadic and permanent lifestyles between the 1950s and 1970s. The village has a library, primary school, a church building, and home of many youth population. The youth of Long Latei are engaged with the Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Malaysian oil corporation) on Sarawak-Sabah Gas pipeline which crosses Long Latei and the other surrounding Penan villages. The main livelihood activities are agriculture and hunting-gathering. Some women of the village also make handicrafts from rattan which they sell in Long Bedian (a nearby small town). The village has very limited economic opportunities. Therefore, tourism is a source of cash income and ultimately fulfil needs of the settled life such as supporting children education in towns
Advanced Centre for Sustainable Socio-economic and Technological Development (ASSET),
University of Technology Sarawak (UTS)
96000 Sibu, Sarawak,
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