Bario Asal and Arur Layun, Borneo

June 2007

Conservation benefit: Creation of a permanent 1,483-acre rainforest preserve

Community benefit: Community-based micro-hydro power

The adjoining villages of Bario Asal and Arur Layun are located in the Bario Highlands plane of Sarawak, in the heart of Borneo. The indigenous Kelabit people are mainly wet rice paddy farmers; to irrigate their fields, they take water from small streams that run close to their longhouses. There are few signs of modern development. Electricity comes from private or village-owned diesel generators.

The Bario Asal and Arur Layan communities requested funding for a micro-hydro system that will provide up to 40 kilowatts of renewable electricity. Micro-hydro energy systems harness energy by using the vertical drop of a small stream. This system will power lights for 50 households, a primary school, secondary school, church, community hall, sundry shops, agro-processing mill, and welding and planning workshops. PACOS Trust will provide training in micro-hydro design, installation, management and maintenance, as well as socioeconomic development training. Through PACOS Trust and the Borneo Project, Seacology has previously funded two micro-hydro systems in Borneo (Long Lawen and Terian).

In return, the communities will establish a 1,483-acre rainforest preserve. The community will plant 1,000 fruit and timber tree seedlings in deforested areas within the watershed and along the river banks, with the goal of returning the watershed to its original state.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
June 2010
The project contact reports that the micro-hydro system has been working well with only another minor disruption due to drought earlier this year (Feb-March). In December 2009 the community, in...
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November 2009
The project coordinator reports that the system has been running well without any serious problems. There was a short interruption in operations in June due to a long drought that forced the...
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June 2009
As of April 2009 the project is complete. In January 2009 the installation, testing and commissioning of the turbine was completed. The communities held a simple ceremony in March to mark this...
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January 2009
As of August 2008 the project experienced a significant delay due to rising transportation costs, causing all shipments within Malaysia to only ship emergency equipment first before less urgent...
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May 2008
The project began in February 2008 after all funding was procured. By April 2008 the project was 80% completed in spite of some challenges getting materials transported to the site. The project...
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