Jayapura – On Monday 03 December 2018 around 15:30. local time, the police had been informed that there had been killing of the PT Istaka Karya workers who were building bridges in Yigi River and Aurak River. It is informed that the killings of the workers occurred on Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 December 2018 in Yigi River and Aurak River, Nduga Regency, Province of Papua.
“31 people, according to report that we received, had been killed,” Head of Public Relation of Papua Regional Police, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal told CNN Indonesia via SMS, Tuesday (4/12)
Kamal explained that the suspected group initially killed 24 workers, on Saturday (1/12). Then, eight other workers fled and hid in the house of one of the local legislators. However, on Sunday (2/12), the group came to the house and executed seven of them.
“On Sunday they were visited by the group and executed. Seven people were shot dead, one person was unknown,” Kamal said, when interviewed by CNN Indonesia. “The group is still in Nduga,” he said.
The police then coordinated with the military and tried to get to the scene. However, the personnel have not been able to enter the location because the road access was blocked by the group, on Tuesday (3/12) before sunset. “Our members have not yet arrived at the crime scene, the road to the crime scene was blocked,” Kamal said.
Earlier on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at around 20:30 local time, Mr. Cahyo (Project Manager of PT. Istika Karya Habema-Mugi bridge construction package) received a call from a number normally held by Mr. Jhoni (Field Coordinator of PT. Istika Karya working on the construction of the Habema-Mugi bridge project) but Mr. Cahyo did not understand what the person calling was talking about.
Mr. Jhoni (Field Coordinator of PT. Istika Karya is working on the construction of the Habema-Mugi bridge project, which is currently carrying out the construction of bridges in Aurak River, Umtlat River, Yigi River, Nigidirik River, in Yigi District of Nduga Regency). Last communication with Mr. Jhoni was via SMS on November 30, 2018.
Meanwhile, information from the 755 / Yalet Satgaspamrahwan post in Napua-Wamena said that on November 30, 2018 at 04.00, a car was registered with Mr. MS as the driver carrying diesel fuel owned by PT. Istaka Karya heading to the Istaka Karya Camp in Yigi District and brought 5 employees. The car arrived back in Wamena at 18.30.
Then on December 1, 2018 at 2:00, there were 2 cars heading to Yigi District Camp each carrying 15 workers of PT Istaka Karya. On December 2, 2018, at 20.00. 1 Strada car returned to Wamena and on Monday 3 December 2018, the car returned from Wamena to Mbua District, Nduga Regency.
One of the cars carrying 15 project workers from PT Istaka Karya has yet to return to Wamena. Receiving this information on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 15.30, joint police and military personnel led by the Head of Ops for Jayawijaya Regional Police, AKP. R.L. Stageary left from Wamena to Yigi District, Nduga Regency, but when they arrived at kilometer 46, the team met with a car from the direction of Bua District and informed them that the road was blocked.
Papua Police PR Head, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, S.H said that currently the joint TNI / Polri personnel had been deployed to check the information and were always ready to evacuate the victims and arrest the perpetrators.
A total of 14 youths from Papua took part in the 2018 Bhinneka Bagi Bangsa (Diversity for the Nation) Expedition in Jatiluhur, West Java.
This expedition was held to commemorate the Sumpah Pemuda (Youth Oath) Day which fell on 28 October,
These young people are students from the Jayawijaya Educational Foundation, Mimika which was founded by PT Freeport Indonesia.
The 14 Papuan participants joined others from various parts of Indonesia in a five-day nature expedition and education activity from 24-28 October at OBI Eco Campus, Jatiluhur, Purwakarta, West Java.
In this activity, the participants took part in a natural expedition which included mountain climbing, flag raising, reading of the Youth Oath pledge, and mutual cooperation to build rafts.
At the end of the activity, they participated in a mini talk show at the Jatiluhur OBI Eco Campus, West Java.
“There are 14 children from Papua, they consist of junior high school students in grade 7, 8 and grade 9. In this activity, they become accustomed to being able to get along with friends from diverse backgrounds. They are used to being in a pluralistic environment. They live and attend school in the PT Freeport Indonesia corporate work area in Papua, where people value mutual respect,” said Head of Public Relations of the Jayawijaya Education Foundation, Omih Gobay in his press statement.
Wendy Kusumawidagdo as the initiator of the “Diversity for the Nation Expedition” said that this activity was expected to strengthen the bonds of the participants.
“We gather youth from Aceh to Papua, a total of 13 provinces, and consist of different ethnic groups, religions, ages and races. The children carry out various kinds of natural activities such as hiking and various other activities that train cooperation, tolerance and mutual understanding,” Wendy explained.
of the participants from the Jayawijaya Educational Foundation Junior
High School, Pamella, stated that this program enabled her to get to
know the outside world more and have a broader perspective.
“I became more familiar with others, so I did not discriminate friends based on culture, ethnicity or skin color. I appreciate the difference more. I think diversity is very important to fight for. Because without diversity we cannot unite. Indonesia consists of various tribes and races, people that possess various kinds of diversities. Diversity as a strength to face challenges in the future. The diversity makes us one,” Pamella said.
Jakarta – The Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (Ministry of PDTT) together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) checks and validates the Self-sustain Village Development Program (PPMD) in Abrose Village, Ransiki District, South Manokwari, West Papua.
Head of Sub-directorate of Technology Efficiency (Kasubdit TTG), Directorate of Natural Resource Utilization (PSDA) of the Directorate General of Community Development and Empowerment (DG PPMD) of PDTT Ministry of Agriculture, Anastutik Wiryaningsih revealed that the PPMD activities have been implemented since March 2017 and will end on 31 December 2018.
this period we carried out capacity building and community empowerment
programs, especially in agriculture,” Anastutik said in a written
statement on Thursday (11/08/2018).
Anastutik revealed that there were 13 districts where 6 districts in Papua and 7 districts in West Papua were targeted by the program and received funding in the form of grants and loans of USD 8.4 million from IFAD.
“The community is given training starting from cultivation or processing of chocolate or cocoa, seaweed, vanilla, to empowering women. The community is also taught to save their income and so on,” said Anastutik.
to Anastutik, the year before PPDM came in, the community in Abrose
complained about their cocoa plants being affected by tree diseases.
“Because the treatment were not good, cocoa has been stricken with disease. We gave proper treatment exercises. Now their cocoa is healthy and produce more,” she said.
PPDM has also succeeded in helping farmers to send 4 tons of seaweed from Fak Fak to Surabaya.
“In Fak Fak, seaweed is only valued at Rp. 6,000 per kg, in Surabaya the price can reach Rp. 18,000 per kg,” she said.
During the visit, Anastutik also took time to meet one of the 30 residents who were members of the PPMD program, Helena (60). Wearing
a shirt with a picture of Monas and Bajaj bearing the Jakarta sign,
Helena came out to meet the group from the Ministry of PDTT and IFAD in
her newly built house in the middle of lush cocoa plants around her.
The location is not far from the Village Development and Community Empowerment Service (PPMK) of Ransiki District which is also the Capital of South Manokwari Regency, West Papua. Precisely in the village or village of Abrose which is on the roadside towards the city of Manokwari.
who was accompanied by Village Assistant Abrose Abdul Rahim Arkan
Semoryai, said that the group’s success with the Independent Village
Development Program (PPDM) was initiated by the Ministry of Defense PDTT
“We were taught how to take care of our cocoa, to cut, harvest, store and to dry,” said Helena.
Meanwhile, IFAD’s Country Program Officer Anissa Lucky Pratiwi said, in addition to conducting training to improve community skills in agriculture, IFAD is also starting to focus on how people in these villages can sell their produces.
“After they produce products in the agricultural sector, we also begin to think about how they can sell them to improve the community’s economy,” said Anissa who has participated in community empowerment programs in Indonesia for approximately 8 years. .
Funds from IFAD are used to organize various trainings in agriculture from planting, harvesting, post-harvest production, to marketing agricultural products. To support the training, various interactive and interesting modules are made that are easy to use
The Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, met with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Imam Nahrawi in the Ministry’s office on Thursday (1/11/2018). He reported on the progress of preparation for the 2020 National Sports Week (PON).
Lukas at the same time conveyed other things besides the development of PON. Among other things, changes to the Presidential Instruction relating to changes of the match venue and request to use equipment from the previous Asian Games and Asian Para Games during the event.
“So far the Papuans have expressed their readiness, both for the 2020 PON and for the National Student Sports Week (Popnas) 2019,” said Menpora Secretary Gatot S. Dewa Broto.
According to Gatot the changes of the venue include the hockey branch venue which was previously set in Jayapura will be moved to Biak. The Ministry also allow utilization of the equipment from the previous Asian Games and Asian Para Games
“The point is that it is permitted. But, the Provincial Government must send a letter to the Minister of Youth ans Sport and the Minister of Transportation regarding what items are needed,” Gatot explained.
“And if you ask, there must be a warehouse to store the equipments because the they must get out of Jakarta no later than the end of November.” he added.
On the other hand, Gatot added, Kemenpora is currently conducting stocktaking of the equipment used in the Asian Games and the Asian Para Games 2018.
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) – An archaeologist from Papua Archaeological Center, Erlin Novita Idje Djami, together with her team, has found two megalithic statues of Polynesian style on the Mount Srobu site located in Abepantai Village, Abepura District, Jayapura City, Papua Province.
“In 2018, we have made a spectacular discovery, namely two megalithic statues of Polynesian style. But, I prefer to call them the megalithic statues of Srobu Papua,” she stated here on Wednesday.
She added that the discovery was extraordinary and unique because the statues were different from those found in other areas in Papua.
The two statues are one meter high and weigh around 50 to 60 kilograms.
“The two statues and other cultural materials are being analyzed at the Papua Archaeological Center,” Djami noted.
She revealed that the Srobu Mountain Site is one of the important archaeological sites in Jayapura city. This site is located on a cape in Youtefa Gulf. This area is a place for some locals to look for shells as raw material to make lime that is used for chewing betel.
“In February 2014, we got information that there were bones found in Srobu Mountain. The locals guessed the bones were those of Japanese soldiers,” she remarked, adding that the Papua Archeology Center, together with the Provincial Culture and Tourism Office, later went to the location to check the information.
“Surprisingly, we not only found bones but also various cultural objects, such as pottery fragments, stone tools, and mollusks shells. I can say that this is one of the great archaeological sites in Papua,” Djami revealed.
After that, the Papua Archeology Center set up a plan to conduct the first research in 2014.
“That year, we carried out a surface survey but did not cover all areas. We also carried out excavations and found a number of stone axe artifacts, oval axes, and tools made of shells, beside pottery with beautiful decoration, “he added.
According to E Djami , the findings of cultural objects characterize a culture from prehistoric times.
“From the dating, the Mount Srobu site has been inhabited since 3,780 before present or BP. This means the site is from Neolithic era, showing that Papua already has an extraordinary culture,” she noted.
In addition to Neolithic culture, in 2015, the researchers also found megalithic relics, in the form of menhirs and dolmens, which were neatly arranged on the ground.
“We will continue this research until this year. So, every year, our research on the Srobu Site discovers unique new things that illustrate a cultural revolution at that location,” she explained.
He hoped that the Srobu Site could become one of the historical tourist destinations in Jayapura City in particular, and Papua, in general.
“This Srobu Site is an open prehistoric settlement. Neolithic settlements in Indonesia are very few, but in Papua, the findings of this culture are extraordinary,” she elaborated, adding that Srobu Site is more unique than all the Neolithic or prehistoric settlement sites in Papua.
JAKARTA – The Bright Papua Expedition (Ekspedisi Papua Terang – EPT) carried out by the State Electricity Company (PT PLN Persero) has shown the results. Kwaedamban Village, Borme District, Pegunungan Bintang Regency, is now currently electrified.
Based on a report from PLN, a total of 36 houses in Kwaebandan Village have now been electrified from a hydro power plant (Piko Hidro) with a capacity of 1 kilo watt (KW) which was built near the village.
“Thanks to PLN, Thanks also to students who have participated in the Bright Papua Expedition. Our appreciation for the efforts that have been made, including support from the community, traditional leaders and the local regional government who are both hand in hand,” said the Deputy for Energy, Logistics, Regional and Tourism Affairs at the Ministry of State Enterprises (BUMN), Edwin Hidayat Abdullah in a written statement received in Jakarta, Monday (10/29).
According to Edwin, the Ministry continues to encourage the optimal role of PLN to provide electricity to the community, especially by utilizing natural potentials as electric energy sources.
“Hopefully it will be followed by other villages in Papua. The Ministry of BUMN continues to provide support and ensure that other villages in the Papua and West Papua regions will also be electrified,” said Edwin.
In addition PLN will also provide electricity in the Borme District by increasing the capacity of existing power plants or adding new power plants that utilize river water flow in the region.
Thus, the presence of electricity in both the Kwaedamban Village and the Borme District will stimulate the economic of the local community. In addition to lighting in homes, electricity will be used for lighting in public facilities such as schools, hospitals, places of worship and channeled to support communication services in the local area.
PLN General Manager of Papua and West Papua Region (WP2B), Ari Dartomo said, at this time the expedition team is verifying data provided by PLN WP2B to get accurate data.
Yulia Indri Sari and Erman Rahman / THE JAKARTA POST
The government has prioritized infrastructure development in Papua and West Papua provinces, particularly to improve road connectivity. It has been argued that connectivity brings numerous potential livelihood opportunities to indigenous Papuans and improves access to other basic services and social interaction.
The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the Indonesian institute of Sciences (LIPI), recently conducted a rapid assessment of two road routes between Sorong and Manokwari in West Papua, and between Jayapura and Wamena in Papua to measure implications of road construction for the Papuans well-being.
Most national and trans-Papua roadshave been built since the New Order Era. But according to drivers and regular road users interviewed, road conditions have significantly improved since 2014. Access to Bintuni from Manokwari; to Sausapor from Sorong in West Papua; and to Elelifrom Abenaho in Papua, for instance, have undergone continuous improvements in the last four years, including through road soil compaction, construction of bridges and paving with asphalt.
Drivers of Hilux taxis (four-wheel-drive cars) no longer worry about getting stuck over night when it rains as unpaved dirt roads (the “red roads”) have been compacted. In other road sections, even smaller cars have replaced Hilux – reflecting relatively good pavement. Even ojek (motorcycletaxis) and regular modes of public transportation like angkot (minivans) and Damri government buses are operating – which to Papuans are the ultimate signs of better roads.
These public transportation optionsreduce their travel time and costs. In Pelebaga, Jayawijaya regency,mama (women) used to carry one noken (Papuan Basket) of farm produce on foot for one to two hours to get to the market and another four to five hours on their way back uphill. After the upgrading of the Wamena-Habema road segment, ojek and taxis became available to them. Now, the women can hire taxis at a cost of Rp 20,000 (US$1.30), with a travel time of only 15 to 30 minutes, and double their sales to two noken full of produce, increasing profits by Rp50,000 to Rp 100,000.
Mama living in coastal and-relatively urbanized areas are more able to benefit from this new opportunity.They have started expanding the market for their agricultural produce to farther and larger urban centers such as Sorong, Jayapura and Manokwari. This has increased their incomes by Rp. 150,000 to Rp. 300,000 per week.
However, most of them spend their additional income on consumable goods. Improved connectivity has significantly increased the accessibility of Papuans to goodssuch as rice, soap, flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate, instant noodles, cigarettes, salt, “colored” drinks and various snacks, as well as construction materials.
New merchants, mostly migrants, are the ones more ready to seize the opportunity and bring these goods to the communities. Some villagers also collectively rent cars to purchase consumable goods and construction materials at lower prices in the nearest urban centers. The implication is a more significant need for cash to buy all these goods.
Increased connectivity and household demand for cash – complemented by increased village budgets (over Rp 1 billion per village on average) that have been used mostly for housing – have increased demand for construction materials, particularly wood.And here lies the problem: men respond to the situation by cutting down more trees and selling them mostly to outsider log traders who finance them. They have also become more dependent on government social assistance and projects.
Lack of support for other types of local economic development has limited the alternative livelihoods available to them, other than utilizing natural resources. Better road connectivity, understandably, also leads to utilization of land along the roads for new villages and agricultural land. Hence, more trees are being, or will be, cut down.
Fortunately,such environmental degradation has not been amplified by significantly increased large private investment. Hence, only existing extractive industries already operating in the two provinces have mostly become better off (and degraded the environment) by utilizing the improved connectivity.
Socially,indigenous Papuans enjoy improved connectivity as families meet more often. But they are also wary of the impact of roads on the influx of migrants. While they consider migrants an integral part of their daily lives – selling them basic needs, providing cheaper and faster modes of transportation, buying the produce and wood they sell and providing skilled labor for construction work – Papuans have also expressed concern over the migrants greater ability to seize the economic opportunities presented by connectivity improvements.
In some highland areas, this has led to restrictions on migrant sellers and the operating hours of migrant ojek drivers.
However, indigenous Papuans speak profoundly on the importance of the roads to access health,education and population administration services, provided mainly in the urban centers.
Our rapid assessment also found positive consequences of improved connectivity inthe quality of health services.
In Wamena, this has given local health clinic staff a better sense of security, hence encouraging longer service hours. However, in education the opposite has happened; teachers have a perverse incentive to leave schools to move to the urban centers instead.
The rapid assessment suggests there is room to reconsider infrastructure development strategies in Papua and West Papua.
The most important infrastructure in the two provinces is the roads connecting where indigenous Papuans live in the villages with the municipality and regency capitals where basic services are mainly provided.
This should be complemented by improving basic services. Including support to improve micro-sale agriculture that would gradually increase the production level from subsistence to a level that can improve food (and nutrition) security at the local levels – a strategy to support the visions of the two provinces to promote sustainable development, as discussed at the international conference on biodiversity, creative economy and ecotourism in Manokwari on Oct. 7 to 10.
The mainstream approach of improving inter-regency and inter-province connectivity, aiming for increased large private investment, does not seem suitable to these two provinces.
With current roads in better shape, gradual improvement of human development indicators, rather than economic growth, should now be the main development target in Papua and West Papua. As one Papuan warned, “we need infrastructure for communities, not commodities”.
This article is originally published on The Jakarta Post, written by Yulia Indri Sari, who has completed her doctoral research on community driven development in Papua for the Australian National University in Canberra and Erman Rahman who holds a Master’s degree in transportation and is senior director for programs at The Asia Foundation. Please contact us should you wish to share your opinion.
The Papuan Archeology Center is holding an archaeological exhibition at Saga Mall, Abepura District, Jayapura, from 23 to 25 October 2018, to introduce historical and prehistoric discoveries to public.
manager of archeology data at the Papuan Archaeological Center Adi Dian
Setiawan who is also the chairman of the exhibition committee in
Jayapura City, said Monday that the actor was open to the public, not
limited by age.
“The objective of this exhibition is to showcase the results of archeological research in Papua to the wider community,” he said while accompanied by senior researcher Hari Suroto and colleagues from the Papua Archeology Institute when arranging a number of objects to be exhibited.
to him, other objectives of the exhibition were to provide an
explanation to the public about the importance of historical and
prehistoric remains in Papua.
“This exhibition is also to receive any information from the community whether there are potential archeological remains in certain areas to be followed up to do research and so on,” he said.
Furthermore, the alumni of Gajah Mada University revealed that the exhibitions objects includes photographs of the research in the field, also colonial and prehistoric artifacts.
“From the colonial era we have bottles, bullets and relics from World War II, whereas from prehistoric times we have pottery, bones, skulls, then fossil shells,” he said.
addition, continued Adi, there was one miniature unit of the escaping
box that was exhibited along with other historical and prehistoric
want to show how archaeological research is carried out, one of which
is the excavation methodology to get original data from the ground,” he
Excavation, he said, is a method of obtaining data by digging up land that is believed to have historical or prehistoric value, using information from local residents.
In line with the statement, the Head of the Papuan Archeology Center Gusti Made Sudarmika said there were still many studies carried out by his party but not yet known by a wide audience.
“If people know about the importance of the research and understand what archeology is, usually they will provide information and the community can help in preserving historical and prehistoric remains, because they already understand its importance,” he said.
The Papua Provincial Government is preparing aid of IDR 4.2 billion (USD 280,000) for victims of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Palu, Sigi and Donggala, Central Sulawesi. Papua Governor Lukas Enembe in Jayapura on Thursday said the aid was collected not only by the provincial government, but also by the districts and cities in Papua.
Earlier this week, Papua Provincial Government also sent a medical team to help victims and survivors in disaster-hit areas in Central Sulawesi.
“Today (18/10) we assembled a team from Papua to go to Palu to hand over the cash assistance in accordance with what was conveyed to President Joko Widodo when met some time ago,” he explained.
He hoped that people of Palu, Sigi, and Donggala affected by the disaster will be quickly recovered, the damaged infrastructure will soon be rebuilt, and the local government will resume normal activities and serve the community.
“We are optimistic that the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government and the Indonesian Government are able to solve everything, despite the earthquake that is indeed a major problem for Indonesia,” he said.
He explained that Indonesia is prone to earthquakes, so that all parties should think about how to build earthquake-resistant infrastructure, because if not, the people would continue to be victims.
In line with Lukas Enembe, Acting Head of the Papua Province Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), William R. Manderi, said that on Sunday (10/21), the team of six people would leave for Palu to hand over the funds, led by the Assistant for Government Affairs of the Papua Provincial Secretariat, Doren Wakerwa.
(Jayapura, Fri, 12/10). The Papua administration has dispatched a medical team to Palu, Central Sulawesi, to provide medical services following a strong earthquake and tsunami that impacted the region.
The team, comprising 10 medical workers, two Social Agency officials as well as two Papua Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) officials, departed for Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Thursday, and will continue their journey to Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu from there.
Papua Health Agency head Aloysius Giay said the team was taking
medical supplies for diarrhea and upper respiratory tract infections, as
well as food supplies.
“The team will stay in Palu for 10 days,” Aloysius said, adding that they would be focused on healthcare services.
“As we all know, there are many diseases that afflict people after disasters,” he added.
Previously, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the province would donate Rp 4 billion (US$ 263,032) to help with reconstruction.
Indonesia, to be precise Papua, contains immense beauty of its nature, the local’s traditions that have been passed through generations and the local wisdoms that now play significant roles on our life through global interaction that are barely known among us.
Poriaman Sitanggang, a photographer that have been photographing Indonesia for almost 32 years and went to many remote areas of Indonesia and visiting its corners just held an exhibition in Oslo, Norway, on 25-27 September 2018. He exhibited photos taken from 1994 to 2018.
The exhibition is entitled “Voyage to the Rising Sun: Papua, Indonesia” and made possible by The Embassy Of The Republic Of Indonesia Oslo, Norway and PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk (ANJ).
There are 35 photos containing the nature of Papua, the culture and life of indigenous peoples in Papua, especially the Dani and Asmat, which were taken by Poriaman during 1994-2018.
“It’s all over Papua from Merauke at the very east of Papua, then Asmat at the south, going up to Wamena, then down to Sorong at the western Papua. I am inspired by the people I met who accepted me warmly. They shared their rich tribal culture and indigenous wisdom. I felt very welcomed. It was my privilege and honour to take their pictures.” He said
To put it in the geographical context, Papua is one of the biggest province in Indonesia situated in the western part on New Guinea Islands. It is 74,000 km2 bigger than Norway (Papua Indonesia 459,411 km2 vs Norway 385,203 km2). Papua is rich of gas, oil, and gold resources in Indonesia. It also has one of the largest rain forest.
Through the pictures of the “Voyage to the Rising Sun: Papua, Indonesia,” Poriaman Sitanggang brought back our picturesque memories of living close to the nature and living by the local wisdoms.
The Papuans, as captured on Poriaman’s camera, carves our awareness about how shall we protect our forest and our diversity for our future generations.
To combat poverty and improve children’s nutrition intake, the Papua administration will give cash incentives to families with children under 4 years of age in the regencies of Asmat, Lanny Jaya and Paniai. The grant is given under a pilot program named Bangga Papua (Papua’s pride) and financed through the special autonomy fund.
According to Heracles Lang, who designed the cash aid program, every toddler living in one of the three regencies and born after january 2015 to a parent of the Melanesian race is eligible for the grant.
“We chose the three regencies, because they are the ones with the most severe poverty,” Heracles told The Jakarta Post after a monitoring visit in Agats, the capital district of Asmat, on sept. 23.
Heracles is the special autonomy improvement head of KOMPAK, an Indonesian-Australian government program for human development.
The three regencies have become models of geographical challenges that often hamper social security programs in the province. Asmat is located by the shore of the Arafura Sea, while Lannya Jaya and Paniai are in the mountains.
According to Asmat Regent Decree No.149/2018 on Bangga Papua, 50 percent of the children of Melanesia live below the poverty line. In early 2018, Asmat regency was under international scrutiny after almost 80 children died of malnutrition.
Heracles said the grant was designed especially to address the nutrition problem, so that parents could buy nutritious and diverse food to improve their chidren’s diet.
He said every eligible child would receive Rp 200,000 (US$13.43) every month through bank transfer. The first transfer, to be conducted in early December, will be for an accumulated nine-month worth of grants. Afterwards, funds will be received every month until the child turns 4 years old.
Heracles said the Bangga Papua team had worked since November 2017 to register all of the eligible children in the three regencies. The names were then reported to Bank Papua, which created accounts for each children.
To ease the money withdrawal from the bank, on the transfer day, Bank Papua personnel will be deployed to each districts in the regency with military escort to deliver the money.
The program prioritizes mothers over fathers to withdraw the money from the bank.
Heracles said all of the eligible children in Asmat had been registered, while the registry teams in teams in Lanny Jaya and Paniai were still working to complete the list.
Bangga Papua has received much criticism, with people saying such funding would only make the poor lazier and more dependent. Many have also expressed concern that the parents, especially the fathers, may forcefully take the cash from the mother and spent it on cigarettes, areca nuts, alcohol, prostitution or even drugs.
Vivi Yulaswati, the director of poverty eradication from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), said according to studies cash incentives for social protection should amount to between 16 percent and 25 percent of income per capita to have the desired impact without creating dependency. “We have calculated that the amount of the grant is within the safe range,” she said.
She added that Bangga Papua also helped the government complete the civil registry, which was deemed extremely difficult for Papua.
“Around 79 districts here do not have (civil registry) data. This is a good trick, as through this program, Asmat has registered around 11,200 children. Thus, we can have the data of the people here by name and by address,” Vivi said.
Papua is one of the provinces receiving special autonomy funds. The funds have been granted since 2001 and are planned to continue until 2021, with the hope that Papua can catch up in terms of development with other provinces of Indonesia.