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Government Focuses on Developing Papua for People’s Welfare

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Development in eastern Indonesia is still the government’s current focus. The government continues to be committed to accelerating the eradication of disadvantaged areas in the Papua region.

The Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) of Papua Province is trying to accelerate the alleviation of underdeveloped areas in this area by coordinating in areas that are still categorized as underdeveloped.

Head of the Strategic and Special Regions Subdivision of Bappeda Papua, Alva Kapisa in Keerom, said that currently there are four districts that are underdeveloped areas, namely Keerom, Memberamo Raya, Supiori and Waropen.

Efforts to alleviate underdeveloped areas are in line with the vision of the Acting Governor of Papua, Ridwan Rudalamun regarding reducing poverty rates and increasing the Human Development Index (HDI) of local areas.

According to Kapisa, after holding a coordination meeting to accelerate the eradication of disadvantaged areas in Keerom Regency, his party will carry out similar activities in Supiori and Waropen so that indicators of backwardness such as average length of schooling and health in these four districts can be resolved properly.

His party targets that by 2025 Keerom Regency will be eradicated from underdeveloped areas so that in the future Bappeda Papua will coordinate with the central government and Keerom Regency Government to work together on whatever indicators of underdevelopment such as human resources (HR), facilities and infrastructure.

This is an important concern so that the programs prioritized in 2024-2025 are truly assessed by the central government so that Keerom can be eradicated from underdeveloped areas. The HDI in Keerom Regency is 66.49 and the percentage of population (PPM) is 16 percent, then the HDI in Mamberamo Raya Regency is 52.18 and the PPM is 28.78 percent. Furthermore, the HDI in Supiori Regency was 62.72 and PPM 37.91 percent and Waropen Regency HDI was 65.10 and PPM was 29.85 percent.

In the same vein as Papua’s development, human resource development is also given great attention, such as efforts to reduce stunting in the Papua region by the Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri).

The Director General of Regional Development at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Restuardy Daud, encouraged the local government to strengthen the TPPS at the provincial level through a Governor’s Decree, involving Regional Apparatus and stakeholders, including the TP-PKK. This is the mandate of the Ministry of Home Affairs based on Presidential Decree Number 72/2021 concerning the acceleration of stunting reduction.

He encouraged the local government to take steps to improve the quality of implementation of 8 convergence actions to achieve the national target of stunting prevalence of 14% in 2024 in accordance with the 2020-2024 RPJMN.

Not only that, it also asks all relevant parties to build commitment and design strategic efforts to approach the target gap for reducing stunting prevalence in Papua, West Papua and 4 New Autonomous Region (DOB) provinces in order to achieve the national target of 14% (stunting prevalence target).

Apart from that, infrastructure development is no less important in the government’s development planning for Papua. Road access is crucial for the sustainability and easy access of Papuans to improve their standard of living.

The Trans Papua Road is a national road that connects Jayapura City with 8 regencies in the Central Mountains of Papua. Infrastructure development in Papua is the focus of the government which aims to create justice, reduce income gaps and disparities between regions, and reduce high prices in each region.

On the other hand, the aim of this project is to improve the economy in Papua Province and increase the availability of the road network, considering that the Jayapura-Mamberamo Trans Papua Road is part of the non-toll road in Papua which is the regional backbone of Papua Island. The Trans Mamberamo-Elelim Road Construction project plan is included in the Major Project (Trans Papua Merauke-Sorong Road) RPJMN 2020 – 2024.

In opening connectivity access in West Papua Province, PT Hutama Karya (Persero) (Hutama Karya) completed the physical construction of the Muri – Kwatisore Road Phase I project faster than the specified contract time. The road that connects Muri Village to Kwatisore Village, West Papua, is 16 km long. The sampling stage has been carried out for laboratory tests for suitability for national road standards, so that it will be handed over at the end of November 2023, and the road can soon be passed by the local community.

Executive Vice President  (EVP) of the Hutama Karya Company, Tjahjo Purnomo, said that the road which is part of the Trans Papua Road is expected to open up regional isolation and increase connectivity between regions.

It is important to improve and accelerate connectivity between regions, especially so that education, information and the flow of goods, services and people run smoothly, effectively and efficiently. This road was completed faster than the original target of completion in February 2024, however, the quality of the road, aesthetics and environmental sustainability were the main things during the construction period.

Tjahjo explained that in the construction of this road, Hutama Karya carried out earth excavation work, granulated pavement and road asphalting using box culvert crossing structures   and  decker plates . During the construction of this road, there were many challenges ranging from weather and natural conditions which were still in the form of remote forests with quite difficult geographic conditions, to the difficulty of communicating signals while in the field. The challenges faced in the field do not dampen the enthusiasm of the team in the field to complete projects on time and with the right quality by always implementing K3 to minimize work accidents in the field. It is hoped that the presence of the Papua development plan will facilitate and support the economy of the local community.

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