Micro Hydro Hybrid system - a community based project

Micro Hydro Hybrid system is the answer to rural electrification & village capacity, environmental stewardship, and rural livelihoods.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Malaysia

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact




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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Electricity supply is the most essential infrastructure for development and also the key infrastructure enhancement to provide for job opportunity and vital income for village residents. However, numerous rural communities in Malaysia are still without electricity services, limiting factor in socio-economic development, education and healthcare. Rural electrification through grid connections and diesel generators if either very costly /in the case of grid extensions, simply no in the plans for the foreseeable future.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Community-based micro-hydro systems in Malaysia have proven to be effective tools not only for rural electrification but also for building village capacity, encouraging environmental stewardship, and improving rural livelihoods. Community-based energy systems are not only owned by the community, but also built, supported and managed by them. The purpose of the community energy project is not simply to provide electricity, but also to empower the community to provide for their own electricity and in their own way. To that end one quarter of the budget of for the projects is typically dedicated to training and building community capacity. The community further contributes to the projects by contributing labor, materials, and (in some cases) capital. Micro Hydro is a multifocal project which aims at addressing: a) a community-based watershed management system b) conservation & sustainable use of the natural resource c) promote alternative income generation & sustainable livelihood

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

SOCIAL IMPACT - Community-based energy projects improve the livelihoods of rural people by providing affordable electricity for lighting, food storage, entertainment and education. Rural communities in Malaysia are not strangers to energy systems. The communities have a long history of harvesting wood from the forest to cook with and natural products to burn for lighting. More recently, people became accustomed to using oil lamps and finally diesel generators. MHPs contribute to rural livelihoods not by providing the first energy source, but by improving on what is already there. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - Lighting from microhydro power has displaced kerosene lamps and use of generators usage. Providing an alternative to diesel powered electricity mitigates climate change. Community microhydro projects further support sustainable development by encouraging the local community to conserve the watershed that surrounds the power plant.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

TONIBUNG partner with JOAS, funded by Small Grant Programme chosen the Baram river for the focal area under Strenghtening Village Resilience & Indigenous Advocacy Through Sustainable Community Based Micro-Hydro in Malaysia project. Microhydro projects are the source of pride for many villagers. In Tg. Tepalit, the management committee collect fees to pay the operators, the operator continue to climb the watershed to clean the intake and ensure that the small system runs well. The head of the village said that he is very proud of the village people and the operators for maintaining the system with low allowance.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

In order to start a community based project, the village need to form a community in support of the project. Once the community is organized, survey, construction and wiring work begins. Participation in the work varies between communities. A man/woman from nearly every house contributes to gotong-royong (sharework) for the project. Tonibung teaches the villagers the skills they need and enables the community to do much of the work alone.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Quality lighting is an essential benefit of the microhydro. Even families that owned diesel generators before the MHP often limited their use in order to conserve fuel, and name lighting as their favorite thing about the community microhydro projects despite. Lighting is important for many reasons: it allows people to do work at night; it allows women to separate rice husk from the padi and children to study after dark. It allows crafts to be completed and dances to be practiced. Its enable villagers to charge their hand phones, watch sports and run karaoke machines. Television provides a source of news, and in some cases the community energy projects power telecenters as well.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Electricity is a real problem and anything who can help to create more access for the population is welcome. that's why i congratulate your work and wish you good luck. Go ahead. Best regards.