PON Infrastructure Changes the Face of Papua

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he hoped that all infrastructure developed for the Games could become an opportunity for reviving Papua in all aspects, in both sports and economics.

The splendor of the Lukas Enembe Stadium complex in Harapan Village, Nolokla Village, East Sentani District, Jayapura Regency, Papua, Tuesday (28/9/2021).

The image of a backward Papua province has slowly faded with the construction of magnificent infrastructure facilities for the National Games Papua 2021 currently being held in the province.

JAYAPURA, KOMPAS – The National Games (PON) Papua 2021 has changed the face of Papua, especially in host regions such as Jayapura city, Jayapura regency, Mimika regency, and Merauke regency. The image that the province nicknamed “Bumi Cenderawasih” (the earth of the birds-of-paradise) is being left behind has begun to disappear following the construction of magnificent sports infrastructures for the quadrennial sporting event.

Three large buildings with contrasting shapes stand among the residential areas and shop houses on the road from the Sentani Airport, Jayapura regency, to the Kampung Harapan area, about 10 kilometers away.

The three buildings are the Istora Lukas Enembe indoor sports arena, Lukas Enembe Aquatic Center, and Lukas Enembe Stadium. The three buildings, located in the Lukas Enembe Sports complex, are new and modern sports arenas built specially for the Games.

Lukas Enembe Aquatic Center is the second largest international-standard pool complex in the country after the Senayan Aquatic Center in Central Jakarta. The building is also the third modern indoor aquatic arena after the Jakabaring Aquatic Center in Palembang, South Sumatra, and the Senayan Aquatic Center. Licensed by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) last year, all records made there are internationally recognized.

Lukas Enembe Stadium is considered the largest football stadium in eastern Indonesia. The stadium has fully enclosed stands with a 40,000 seating capacity. Public Works and Housing (PUPR) Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in Jayapura on Friday (1/10/2021) that he hoped the local governments in the four regions hosting the Games could maintain the newly built sporting facilities, such as by holding local championships.

In hosting the quadrennial sporting event, visitors could see that Papua had great development potential, the governor added.

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he hoped that all infrastructure developed for the Games could become an opportunity for reviving Papua in all aspects, in both sports and economics. In hosting the quadrennial sporting event, visitors could see that Papua had great development potential, the governor added.

Colorful lights illuminate the Youtefa Red Bridge, which connects the Trans Papua Road in Jayapura, Papua, Thursday (30/9/2021).

Meanwhile, the strategic infrastructure director at the PUPR’s Directorate General of Human Settlements, Iwan Suprijanto, said on Friday (24/9) that the ministry had been tasked with building eight PON sports facilities, namely the Aquatic Center, main stadium, cricket field, indoor and outdoor hockey fields, roller skating circuit, as well as the archery and rowing venues.

According to Iwan, the local government proposed a Rp 1.7 trillion construction budget for the sports infrastructure. With some adjustments, the development cost was reduced to Rp 900 billion.

The PUPR Ministry also took part in arranging the areas around the Lukas Enembe Aquatic Arena and Istora, as well as in the cricket and hockey arenas in Doyo Baru village, Waibu district, Jayapura regency, at a cost of Rp 211.7 billion.

The Aquatic Center had the largest construction costs reaching Rp 401 billion, while the construction of the other sports infrastructure, such as the Istora, cost Rp 278.5 billion, the cricket and hockey arena Rp 288.3 billion, followed by the rowing arena, archery, and roller skating venues at Rp 128.2 billion.

The captain of the Jakarta women’s water polo team, Ariel Dyah Cininda Siwabessy (27), did not expect Papua would be able to build such a magnificent aquatic center. According to her, the Papua Aquatic Center is no different from the Senayan Aquatic Center, except that it has a lower seating capacity and warmer water.

In addition to building the sports arenas, the government has also prepared supporting infrastructure such as roads and bridges. One of the most iconic is the Youtefa Bay Red Bridge in Jayapura city, located not far from the PON rowing venue.

Randy Sambono (27), a resident of Abepura, Jayapura regency, acknowledged that many changes had taken place in Papua ahead of the quadrennial sports event. “I am also proud because my hometown could be developed like other areas in Indonesia,” said the Javanese-Maluku man, who was born in Jayapura.

In Mimika, the central and regional governments had widened the main roads in Timika from 5 meters to 10 meters over the last three years. According to Nauval Latuapo (46), an Ambonese native who has lived in Timika for 20 years, the main roads in Papua were now more orderly and cleaner.

Papuan football star, Boaz Solossa, carries the fire torch of National Sports Week (PON) Papua 2021 to the Mayor Office of Jayapura, Papua, Friday (1/10/2021).

The residents were very grateful for this, because it minimized road congestion. “Now, the vehicle [flow] is faster. The city is also growing. We hope this can fuel further economic growth here,” said Nauval.

The private sector has also supported the Games. PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) president director Clayton Allen Wenas said on Friday that the copper mining giant had contributed to the success of PON by providing sports infrastructure, athlete training facilities, bonuses for Papuan medal-winners, and Covid-19 mitigation.

PTFI built the Mimika Sports Complex (MSC), which will host the basketball and athletics events. The marathon and race walking events were also held at the PTFI area in Kuala Kencana.

According to Wenas, PTFI constructed the MSC construction in 2014-2016 at a cost of Rp 468 billion. The MSC will be inaugurated on 5 Oct. PTFI also provided Rp 15 billion in sponsorship for the Games.

Source: KOMPAS

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