Where there’s a will, there can be light

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The very small village of Long Rusu in Sarawak, population 20, is supplied with hydroelectricity, thanks to a spirit of gotong-royong.

It is a cold evening, not unusual for the hamlet of Long Rusu where the temperature often falls below 20°C after the sun sets. Mountain weather is chilly and not made for cold showers.

I switch on the water heater and test the water with my hand. It is hot, almost scalding – perfect for a hot bath.

That sounds quite normal, doesn’t it? Electricity + water heater = hot water. It is as normal as light flooding the bathroom when I flip the switch or my phone beeping when I plug in the charger.

Electricity is normal to most of us. But when you are in a remote village that lives off the grid, round-the-clock electricity is actually quite amazing. On top of that, there’s even enough electricity to power a water heater. That’s almost unheard of.


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