Sunday, 6 December 2009

Internet and microhydro power in Buayan

London, England

I have just received perhaps the first email sent from Buayan, one of the communities where GDF is active in Sabah, Malaysia. Sent by Adrian Lasimbang, who works with the indigenous NGO Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS), it was a test of a satellite connection installed as part of an ‘e-Buayan’ that is dissolving the digital divide that once separated the Dusun people of this village from the rest of the world.  Adrian reports that the community is working hard to finish by Christmas (this is a Catholic community) an e-Buayan building that will house a classroom with eight PCs and Netbooks all linked by LAN cables. This will allow training in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to go forward.  These developments follow on the launch of a microhydro power station that is providing the electricity that will power the computers.  What is planned next? There will hopefully be a Buayan website through which community researchers can share the results of their studies on the resource catchment areas and community use zones that are key to maintaining their livelihoods in and around a government protected area.  Then perhaps there will be a community radio that will transmit to households within a 5 km radius.  All of this progress towards enhancing a sustainable community will go to naught if plans to create the Kaiduan Dam on the Papar River proceed: a few steps forward erased by a major leap backward.


  1. I hope that you will acknowledge the hardwork and support of Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics (CoERI), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak the eBuayan project implementor.