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Rural villagers on digital map with launch of e-Buayan

on 08 April 2010.

 

0704_buayan_4
The telecentre which is the centre of the e-Buayan project

7th April, 2010

PENAMPANG: Far-flung village of Kg Buayan has positioned itself on the digital map with the launch of e-Buayan yesterday, a telecentre project that is aimed at empowering the lives of the villagers using ICT.

Called ‘Longkod Piromutan’ (communication centre) e-Buayan, the telecentre project, the first of its kind in the State, was conceptualized by Unimas with close collaboration with other partners namely the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics (CoERI), Pacos Trust and Maxis.

The project, which was first initiated about two years ago, aims to duplicate the success attained by e-Bario in Sarawak, an award-winning initiative, that has positively impacted the lives of the rural people’s socio-economically.

Kg Buayan is located on the margin of the Crocker Range and is accessible by hours of walking through the forest, across rivers and over many hills. It has some 500 residents who are mostly farmers.

With e-Buayan, the community is now easily connected to the outside world, a luxury that they could only dream of a few years back. Now villagers can use the internet to empower themselves socio-economically.

“Information technology is very important to our lives. It’s a communication tool that can be used by the people to empower themselves socio-economically,” said Science, Technology and Innovation minister Datuk Maximus Ongkili who flew in to launch the historic project.

He was accompanied by Moyog state assemblyman, Donald Peter Mojuntin, vice chancellor of Unimas Prof Dr Khairuddin Ab Hamid and other project stakeholders.

Maximus was optimistic about the spin-offs from the initiative and assured that his ministry will work with other project stakeholders to ensure e-Buayan’s sustainability through various socio-economic empowerment programmes. He singled out a river fish rearing technology which could be implemented in the village that has a high price in the market. He said villagers could be taught to use the internet to market the fish and other cottage products like crafts.

“They have the whole world out there to promote what they have here including eco-tourism,” he added.

The e-Buayan project operates in a wooden house built by the community and uses VSAT by Maxis which is powered by solar energy. It is equipped with computers and prepaid phones. A special committee has been formed to manage the telecentre, headed by a local champion, Irene Kodoyou.

The project is one of four funded by MOSTI and implemented by Unimas. The other one in Sabah will be in Semporna.

Extracted from The New Sabah Times.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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