Jokowi’s Era of Papua Development Brings Many Positive Changes
By : Theresia Wopari)*
The government has committed to prioritizing development in Papua, the development priorities that have been running for years have apparently succeeded in bringing about many changes that have occurred for the people of Papua.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has made Papua an area that must be touched by him, so that developments such as infrastructure and human resources are programs aimed at increasing the welfare of Papua. The various infrastructures that have been built are proof that the government is not playing games in developing Papua.
One of the developments that can be seen is the Bangkit Papua Stadium and the Youtefa Bridge which have stood majestically in Papua. On the other hand, Papua has also been entrusted with hosting the XX National Sports Week (PON). This of course adds to the confidence of the Papuan people that their region is capable of holding large events such as the PON multievent.
Anis Wayag as a resident of Yakuhimo admitted that since there was road construction in Papua it only took him one day to travel back to his village, whereas in the past he had to spend up to 1 month walking. This shows that development priorities in Papua seem to have had an impact on the ease with which people have access to land transportation.
This of course will have other positive effects, for example when there are pregnant women who need treatment at a health facility, of course the road access will speed up the transportation of pregnant women so that they get help as soon as possible.
In addition, since the Jokowi administration, the price of fuel in Papua is no longer at Rp. 100,000 per liter, but the price of fuel in Papua has been able to become the same price as other regions. It was this policy that turned out to be able to lead Jokowi to RI1 to 2 terms.
With the construction of roads in Papua, it turns out that the distribution of social assistance in the form of groceries becomes more evenly distributed, of course if there is no such development, the process of distributing social assistance will be stagnant.
Meanwhile, in the electricity sector during the Jokowi era, electrification has succeeded in growing brilliantly, which is more than 50%. In Papua in 2014 electrification only reached 43% and West Papua around 77%. Through various electrification programs until September 2019, the electrification ratio in Papua has reached 94% and West Papua is 99%. This electrification of course makes Papua better and brighter at night. The existence of electricity will also facilitate the development of other infrastructure such as health centers or service offices.
Efforts to increase the electrification ratio in Papua are still hampered by geographical problems in the form of remote villages and limited transportation routes. Even though there are difficult terrain challenges, efforts to distribute electricity continue to realize development in Papua.
In addition to using the potential sources of electricity in the village, PLN has also prepared a program for using electricity through electric tubes (Talis). This electricity tube is a collaboration between PLN and the University of Indonesia (UI). Talis itself is useful for storing electrical power which can later be used by the community to illuminate their homes or villages.
With the presence of electricity in Papua, of course, the people in Papua can enjoy the light at night. Apart from that, the existence of Talis also allows the community to save money in installing the electricity network because the cost of buying and installing electricity using Talis is only around IDR 3.5 million. Meanwhile, conventional routes can cost more than Rp. 4 million.
The development being promoted for Papua is not only building objects, but the government is also trying to carry out development in a measurable, economical manner while still providing sustainable benefits.
One form of appreciation for development in Papua was also shown by Bank Indonesia, which stated that the installation of a picture of the Youtefa Bridge on a special new IDR 75,000 denomination was a form of appreciation for the success of infrastructure development in Papua.
The Head of the Representative Office of Bank Indonesia (KpwBI) for Papua Province, Naek Tigor Sinaga, said that the Youtefa Bridge is currently one of the buildings with its own charm in Papua.
Naek said, the philosophy of the picture is connectivity that is manifested by the existence of bridges that are useful for facilitating the mobility of people, especially those in Jayapura City and its surroundings. Before this bridge was built, the journey from the government area to the Muara Tami District had to cover a distance of 35 km and took about 1 hour. However, if you pass the Youtefa Bridge, the distance will be around 12 km and it will take around 15 minutes.
The steps taken by the Jokowi-era government to prioritize development in Papua seem to have made many changes, starting from the brevity of transportation, equal fuel prices to equal distribution of electricity which can now illuminate the Papua region. This shows that development in Papua deserves appreciation because Papua has made progress thanks to development.
)* The author is a Papuan student living in Bandung