Tag Archives: Merauke

Papua to build four reference hospitals

The regional government of Papua Province will build four major national reference hospitals respectively in Biak, Nabire, Wamena and Merauke districts in 2014.

Head of the Regional Development Planning Board (Bapedda) of Papua Muhammad Abud Musaad said here on Thursday that the four hospitals would be build in the four districts based on regional customary divisions.

The placement of the hospitals in the regional customary divisions is expected to reach local people with fast, quality and modern facilities in providing them with health services.

“The district governments only provided land for the construction of the hospitals while the funds will be provided by the provincial government,” Musaad said.

He said that so far the people of Papua who suffered from certain diseases should be referred to hospitals outside Papua province.

With the presence of the hospital, patients who suffered from certain diseases could be handled immediately, he said.

“In order to provide the hospitals with health equipment, the provincial government will ask assistance from the central government through the ministry of health,” he said.

In the meantime, the National Family Planning and Population Board (BKKBN) said last week the maternal mortality rate in Papua Province was still high.

“The local government should give serious attention to the high maternal mortality rate. It should protect Papuan women and maintain the healthiness of their reproduction,” Julianto Witjaksono, BKKBN deputy for family planning and reproduction health, said.

The organization of cabinet ministers wives (SIKIB) has also visited the Wulukubun village, Keerom District, Papua to observe public facilities and family planning services there.

Julianto Witjaksono said that about 500 mothers died of bleeding during labor every year in the district. It was also difficult for officials to provide family planning services for native Papuan women.

“Of the many family planning service options, they prefer to use the pills, injection and implant methods,” he said.

BKKBN Head for Papua Nerius Auparay said meanwhile a new strategy was needed to introduce the family planning program to Papuan natives.

Source: ANTARA News

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An Educator’s Heroic Journey to Change Gender Relations in Papua

Esteemed mythologist Joseph Campbell is famous for breaking down “The Hero’s Journey,” a template by which all heroes — from Hercules to Harry Potter — follow the same pattern: the separation, the initiation and the return.

???????????????????????????????When Nabire, Papua-born Els Tieneke Rieke Katmo decided to earn her PhD in gender studies and HIV/AIDS at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, distance and separation were never factors, and the path seems more fluid and ultimately direct — but no less heroic.

After all, Els — a professor at the State University of Papua in Manokwari, West Papua — is from a remote part of Indonesia where walking three hours to school in the morning is par for the course.

It’s more than 4,000 kilometers from Nabire to Adelaide, but distance has done little to shake the confidence of a woman who has dedicated her life to gender issues and HIV awareness.

“Suddenly my neighbor passed away because of HIV,” the 38-year-old mother of two said. “Then one-by-one my relatives and friends started passing away. The biggest problem was people still believed these deaths were caused by black magic. A lack of education of the people around me pushed me to find out more about the issue, to help people around me.”

During her undergraduate dissertation in the same university where she has taught since 2009, Els stumbled upon a number of gender issues and overall lack of education leading to the spread of HIV. “I looked closely at the use of contraception by women and realized there was a big lack of knowledge about this, which is one of the major reasons behind the spread of HIV,” Els said.

Born to a forward-thinking father from Merauke in Papua, Els knew from a young age that she and her siblings were different. School attendance was mandatory. Men and women were equal. Els learned how to ride a motorbike and mend faulty electric devices while her brothers were taught how to cook.

Most recently Els, who earned her master’s degree in gender studies from the University of Indonesia, has tackled HIV among housewives in Manokwari.

“All the projects and research I’ve been involved in, have led me to the conclusion that not only education, but also the mentality about gender and HIV have to be changed,” Els said. “This pushed me to pursue a PhD focusing on gender, the sexuality of Papuan men and women and its relation to HIV and AIDS.”

Awarded a scholarship by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), now Els is ready to take her mission to the next level.

“I strongly believe knowledge is the most important element to survival,” Els said. “After I return to Papua, I’ll collaborate with local radio to produce a program about HIV. Also, I will start a project for the economic empowerment of women and kids with HIV. The most effective way to make people understand about the topic is by giving them examples based on daily life.”

Close friend and a master’s degree candidate at the University of Adelaide Zainah Rahmiati believes it’s her friend’s deep roots and unassuming attitude that has helped her make a lasting impact on the lives of men and women in Papua.

“Els is a great person, but at the same time she’s very humble,” Zainah said. “She has great ideas to make a change in society. Papua is remote and a lack of infrastructure makes it difficult for Els to implement her changes, but she never gives up. She is an inspiration for agents of change.”

A tireless advocate of education, Els firmly believes training and proper schooling is essential to understanding and stopping the spread of HIV in Papua.

Her passion led her, together with her best friend Maria Goretti, to establish a children’s library in Edera, a tiny village 10 hours by car from Merauke.

Most children in Edera, Maria explained, are 8 years old before they can read or write properly.

“In the village where we opened the library, if you can go to church or to school it is already a blessing, let alone gain access to quality books,” Maria said. “The idea of starting to provide books to kids and teenagers came after I saw in the school where I teach the low interest children have for reading. In the library the school books are very old, some were published in the ’70s.”

Marice Aun, 12, dropped out from school after third grade because her parents could not afford to pay the fees. Because of the low quality of education, she barely learned how to read.

“I fell in love with books because of the reading garden,” Marice said. “I’m so happy to be able to read colorful and cute books, they are interesting. I want to keep studying, and when I grow up I want to become a midwife.” A midwife who can help Els explain the dangers of HIV across Papua.

“I want the next generation of Papuans to have a better future, to be healthier, smarter and to believe in themselves,” Els said. Campbell would be impressed.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

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Breakthrough imminent in Indonesia: O’Neill’s plan to defuse standoff over West Papua

By Rowan Callick === A breakthrough may be on the way for one of the most intractable conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region. Relations between Indonesia and the Melanesian nations, led by Papua New Guinea, have remained awkward ever since the Dutch withdrew from “Netherlands New Guinea,” and the Pacific islands became independent states.

The plight of “West Papua” as it is often called, has prevented Indonesia, the biggest and closest country in South-East Asia, from building the links that might otherwise have been expected, with the island countries to its east—even since it became a liberal democracy 15 years ago.

But, the PNG government, led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, has recently launched an initiative aimed at defusing the stand-off over West Papua, building the economy of the centre of New Guinea island, and gaining diplomatic spin-offs.

The western half of New Guinea island comprises two Indonesian provinces: Papua, whose capital is Jayapura, and West Papua, whose capital is Manokwari. It has a 750-km mostly mountainous and often in the past fraught and dangerous border with PNG.

In 2001, the area now covered by the two provinces was declared autonomous with 80 percent of its tax receipts to be retained for local use. But this process has remained only partially complete compared with the more successful governance situation in Aceh, at the other end of the Indonesian archipelago.

O’Neill, who led a delegation to Jakarta for talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said: “West Papua has been a sticky issue for PNG and the western Pacific for quite some time. Our role is to open up discussions.

Genuine desire
“We feel the government of Indonesia has a genuine desire to ensure issues relating to West Papua are managed in a mutually beneficial manner. For the first time in our bilateral discussions, we were able to discuss this openly with the Indonesian government,” said PM O’Neill.

He said he is convinced that Yudhoyono now wishes to withdraw military presence from West Papua, and allow for more autonomy through economic empowerment of the people.

“We feel this is a good opening for us to engage with the Indonesian government so we can participate in the improvement of the lives of Melanesian people there and of our own people along the border. Our officials are now engaged meaningfully in establishing the cooperation we agreed,” he said.

PNG’s Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato elaborated on the deal that was informally struck: “The Indonesian president will adopt a softer approach to West Papuan issues, allowing them greater autonomy.”

As an indicator of this, official representatives will participate in the Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture to be hosted by PNG next year.

He said Indonesia would allow Papua New Guinea communities near the border to draw on its excess hydro power capacity with state-owned enterprise PNG Power buying electricity for its grid from Indonesia, and that the two countries would jointly explore for oil and gas in highly prospective targets that straddle the border.

Indonesia, Pato said, would fund an ambitious paved highway from Merauke on its side of the border in the south, to PNG’s Wewak on the northern coast.

The countries’ leaders signed a total of 11 MOUs during O’Neill’s visit, after which Pato and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa began to chart an implementation course.

Extradition treaty
They agreed on an extradition treaty—which may ensure that Indonesian businessman fugitive Joko Chandra—wanted for corruption and who obtained PNG citizenship under a process that is being challenged legally—returns to face charges.

Another agreement under final negotiation, will permit planes to fly from Nadi, Fiji, through Honiara in Solomon Islands, then Port Moresby, and on to Bali.

One goal of the warming of relations, Pato said, was to prevent any resurgence of asylum-seekers from the Indonesian side of the border. About 8,000 refugees remain in PNG, living in camps in Western province run by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees following earlier conflicts, many of them seeking refuge more than 25 years ago.

The discussions between PNG and Indonesia have led to the latter inviting the foreign ministers of the four Melanesian states — Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji, as well as PNG, who form the “Melanesian Spearhead Group” (MSG) — to visit its Papua and West Papua provinces.

O’Neill flew for talks with Yudhoyono instead of attending an MSG leaders’ meeting held at the same time in New Caledonia.

While PNG is helping to usher its fellow Melanesians in towards better relations with Indonesia, Indonesia in return is backing Port Moresby’s membership of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN has 10 members at present — and PNG feels it is entitled to join it because it has such a long land border with the group’s largest state.

Indonesia is also backing PNG’s bid to host the 2018 summit of the APEC forum — which would bring the American and Russian presidents, among other leaders, to Port Moresby — which will be decided at the next summit in Bali in October.

“It’s important for us to have such a relationship with Indonesia,” said Pato — who points out that in previous years, tensions not only unresolved but not even fully discussed about West Papua had prevented the full development of positive, mutually beneficial arrangements between the countries.

Now a joint committee of ministers from the countries has been formed to tackle the details and ensure the MOUs are implemented, he said — starting with the joint economic projects.

Source: Islands Business

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Papua: Working Together for Prosperity

By Hyginus Hardoyo === In Ogenetan, a tiny village located in Iniyandit, one of the more remote districts of Boven Digoel regency in Papua, residents recently donned their best traditional attire to welcome several guests from Jakarta.

Some, including several children, had painted their bodies black and white with makeup and danced to songs and chants as soon as the guests exited their cars. A group of women also started to dance at the other end, in front of the main building of the kampung, which is located deep in the rainforest near Indonesia’s border with Papua New Guinea.

As a group of young men started to play music using guitars and a plastic water drums, girls sashaying in grass skirts invited the guests to pass through.

“This is our way to give guests a warm welcome,” Yan Karowa, the local district head, said. “The dances and songs show our hospitality to anybody who is willing to come here.” Everybody was happy whenever guests visited the kampung, he said.

Processing: The cooperative sold about 1.5 tons of good-quality rubber sheets for about Rp 15,000 (US$1.33) a kilogram, described as a fair price given current conditions.

Processing: The cooperative sold about 1.5 tons of good-quality rubber sheets for about Rp 15,000 (US$1.33) a kilogram, described as a fair price given current conditions.

Ogenetan is inhabited by 57 families comprising 306 people, who rely principally on rubber farming, introduced to Papua in the early 1970s by Christian missionaries, as their main source of income.

Nearly every resident of the kampong was on hand at the hall, which houses the Nonggup Cooperative that they established.

People wanted to watch as the cooperative’s representatives stake a deal with PT Montelo, a private company. About one-and-a-half tons of good-quality rubber sheets were bought by the company for about
Rp 15,000 (US$1.33) a kilogram, described as a fair price given current conditions.

Living in isolation about 350 kilometers south of Jayapura, those who live in Ogenetan find that economic development comes very slowly.

Basic foodstuffs were previously exorbitantly expensive. Residents had to venture to places such as Tanah Merah, the capital of Boven Digoel, about five hours away. The journey had to be made by foot; the roads were almost impassable.

The hardships drove Yan Karowa and Riswanto from the NGO Wahana Visi Indonesia to establish the Nonggup Cooperative. “How can local people enjoy the fruits of their labor if they are burdened with huge debts and are unfavorably dependent on middlemen?” Riswanto said.

The local residents were at first reluctant to found a cooperative, due to previous failures, when money collected from the members was misused or taken away. However, through the work of the NGO, local residents became aware of how a well-organized and transparent cooperative could help the community.

The cooperative was established in 2009 with just 29 people who pitched in Rp 8 million for its operating capital. Through the cooperative, the local residents reached an agreement with PT Montelo to sell the rubber sheets.

Realizing that a cooperative could work and generate profits, members of the kampung joined the cooperative in increasing numbers. Currently, more than 130 people from Ogenetan have signed up and representative offices have been opened in the neighboring districts of Mindiptana and Arimop.

“The establishment of the cooperative enables us to easily communicate on the need to improve quality of rubber production from here,” Widia from PT Montelo said.

With total annual turnover of over Rp 300 million, a shop was opened under the supervision of the cooperative, providing affordable basic necessities and other agricultural produce to members. The shop is managed by Maria Wometa.

The mother of six says that business has been so good that she has been able to send one of her kids to study at a university in Merauke.

Bruno Etmop, the head of the cooperative, said that the cooperative booked a net profit of about Rp 23 million in its first year. By the third year, members were able to share a annual dividend of Rp 7 million.

Aloysius Bayub, a cooperative member, said he earned an average of Rp 1.5 million a month from the sheets made from sap from his 1.5-hectare rubber plantation. “It is enough to support my daily expenses, including paying the tuition fees for my youngest child at elementary school,” said Bayub, the father of three, whose wife has just died due to illnesses.

Bruno said that the cooperative’s rapid growth could not be separated from the discipline of its members in playing by the established rules. ”Each member of the cooperative who has debts has understood that the debt must be repaid in installments, together with interest.”

The money collected from the members was deposited in a BPR rural bank, whose officers came to Ogenetan once a month.

Backed by skilled assistants with a basic knowledge of management, Bruno said that he was confident that the cooperative could expand even further.

However small, this joint effort has contributed greatly to the local residents. A spirit for advancement has arisen from province of Papua in Indonesia.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Indonesian navy to establish primary base in Papua

The Indonesian Navy is to enhance the monitoring on maritime defense by establishing Navy Primary Base in Papua region.

“We will establish the twelfth Indonesian Navy Primary Base in Sorong, Papua,” said the Fifth Primary Base Commander of Jayapura Brigade General Putu Wijamahaadi here on Friday (08/02).

According to him the Primary Base will be commanding several Navy Bases in the west of Papua waters include fasharkan Manokwari.

He added the establishment of the Twelfth Navy Primary Base will increase the total Navy Base in Papua to three locations.

“The three bases are located in Navy Base X Jayapura, Navy Base XI Merauke and yet Navy Base XII in Sorong,” said Wijamahaadi.

The Commander said that the current process of Navy Base construction is on equipping the facilities and infrastructures.

“We cannot ensure the time of inauguration as the base still completing supported facilities,” said Brigadier General Wijamahaadi.

He expected by the addition of Navy Base in Papua can decrease the violations on maritime law in the area.

“Moreover, the waters in the area of the Twelfth Navy Base are prone to illegal fishing action,” said Wijamahaadi.

Source: ANTARA News

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Govt to build several airports in Papua

The Ministry of Transportation, through the Directorate General of Air Transportation, will develop a number of airports in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, according to local transportation office spokesman Bambang Tjahjono.

“In order that more commercial airlines serve the eastern Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, the Ministry of Transportation will develop airports there,” he said here on Monday (08/10).

Bambang stated that the runways of Sentani in Jayapura and Sorong in West Papua would be extended.

“The runway of Sentani airport will be extended to 3,000 metres, in addition to the development of its taxiway and a boarding bridge or garbarata,” he noted.

“The Ministry of Transportation and Sorong mayor have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the expansion of the runway of Sorong airport in West Papua,” Bambang said.

“The MoU also involves the construction of an alternative airport in Segun,” he added.

According to Bambang, other airports to be developed in Papua and West Papua include those in Kaimana, Wamena, Manokwari, Merauke, Wagete Baru in Deiyai, and Tamanof.

“The Ministry of Transportation has allocated a lot of funds for the eastern Indonesian region because we give our special attention to Papua and West Papua,” he explained.

Source: ANTARA News

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OPM keeps shooting civilians in Papua

Vian, 25 years old, an employee of the Mopah airport, Merauke, Papua, was shot by Free Papua Organization (OPM) activist on Husein Palela street, Merauke, Sunday, August 19, 2012.

The victim suffered a serious injury in the feet and.
“The victim is currently being treated in hospital, the shooter is still under investigation,” said Chief of Merauke Police, Adjutant Senior Police Commissioner Djoko Prihadi.

Earlier, Ayub Notanubun, 52, was shot dead by OPM member near Kampung Skamto, long bridge, Keerom Regency, Papua, Saturday, August 18, 2012.

He was killed with a gunshot wound to the head, above the left ear.

“We’re pursuing the perpetrator,” said Chief of Keerom Police, Adjustant Senior Police Commissioner Bedjo P S.

August 16, 2012, in Paniai, OPM killed a kiosk owner, Mustafa. He died from a bullet entering his throat and exiting through the back of his head.

A member of Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP), Yunus Wonda called rebel in Papua not to shoot civilians as one of efforts to achieve its target of independence.

Civilians, workers and security of a subsidiary unit of US giant Freeport McMorant in Papua, PT Freeport Indonesia, have been frequently targeted by the rebels who killed tens of people and wounded dozens others.(*wpnn)

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