Curtin Malaysia’s Light Up Miri project brings relief to villagersPosted date:
Miri – 21 August 2017 – Villagers of Kampung Pujut Corner can now breathe a sigh of relief after receiving 60 units of solar lamps to light up their homes.
The lamps were donated by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Curtin Malaysia Student Branch under its ongoing ‘Light Up Miri’ community project, which involves fabricating and distributing simple yet innovative solar lamps by student members to help alleviate electricity shortage problems faced by communities in and around Miri.
The recent distribution was officiated by Piasau Assemblyman Dato Sebastian Ting and Mayor of Miri Adam Yii. Interviews were later conducted with the villagers to gather feedback for further project improvement. The dignitaries and students were also taken on a tour of the village to observe the living conditions there.
According to members of student branch, Kampung Pujut Corner suffers from inconsistent water and electricity supply and the entire village of about 200 inhabitants depends on a single electricity outlet and meter. They are prone to power outages due to overloading or during inclement weather. Repair works could take several weeks, causing hardship and discomfort to the villagers who have to live without electricity for prolonged periods.
President of the IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch Kong Sheng How said he was grateful to his committee members and the student volunteers who took part in project workshops and helped build the solar lamps.
He said the ‘Light Up Miri’ project has been beneficial to all involved, not only helping to improve the lives of underprivileged communities in the area, but also allowing the students to enhance their technical and leadership skills.
Fellow member and the head of the student branch’s Community Outreach Team, Carl-Mats Isaac Bayang, added that it might be a small contribution on the part of the student branch, but it is a step forward for the community, particularly for school children who need lights to study or complete their homework at night.
Head of the Website Team, Lancelot Chong, meanwhile, expressed his disbelief that in this modern age, some villagers still rely on oil lamps to light up their homes. He has high hopes that the project will continue to impact lives in local communities for a long time to come.
According to advisor to the student branch, electrical and computer engineering senior lecturer Dr. Garenth Lim, serving the community by harnessing the power of technology is part of an engineer’s responsibility and this notion is being imparted to the student volunteers through the project.
“The IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch provides the right platform for our students to demonstrate their leadership skills and to be responsible, caring future engineers with a good understanding of their civic responsibilities,” remarked Dr. Lim.
He said activities like ‘Light Up Miri’ is also designed to spark interest amongst the younger generation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, as well as raise awareness of the importance of education and renewable energy.
Last year, the IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch joined forces with the AIESEC Curtin Malaysia Chapter to carry out the flagship ‘Light of Borneo’ (LOB) project, fabricating and donating solar lamps to villagers at Kampung Api-Api in Lutong.
The IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch was established in 2008 and currently has about 100 members. For more information on the student branch, e-mail email@example.com, visit ewh.ieee.org/sb/malaysia/curtinsarawak or visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CurtinSarawak.IEEE.
For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia) or YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia).
A student volunteer demonstrating the use of the solar lamp to villagers.
President Kong Sheng How showing Dato Sebastian Ting, Mayor Adam Yii and the villagers how to operate the lamps.
Mayor Adam Yii distributing solar lamps to the villagers.