JUBI: Conditions in Keerom very bad

JUBI, 1 August 2011

Conditions in Keerom are very bad

The Coalition for Justice, the Rule of Law, Human Rights and Public Service (K2PH2P2) has expressed its concern about conditions in the district of Keerom during the first months of this year.

It said that the governing body is far from being capable, responsive and accommodative. Government workers are largely incapable and unresponsive and lacking in discipline in their work. In a press release issued on 1 August in Abepura, a group of leaders including church leaders, civil society leaders and human rights activists expressed their fear that development in the district which was intended for transmigrants is stagnant.

‘Discipline in the civil service is very bad. They live in Jayapura, arrive in their offices at 9am and go home soon afterwards, which means that the service they provide is very bad,’ said Bonefasius A. Muenda of the Keerom Social Institution. Most of them live in Jayapura and arrive in their offices quite late in the morning. Even worse, some of the civil servants only go to their offices twice or three times a week. For the rest of the time, they stay at home.

But there are other problems as well, according to the Coalition. In education for example, Pastor John Jonga, a leader of the Catholic Church in Keerom, said that hundreds of children receive no attention at all because there are no teachers. He said this was more likely to be thousands of children, not hundreds. Ironically, billions of rupiahs are allocated to education but the children are waiting for their teachers.

‘In Towe Hitam, 36 members of the armed forces are paid for by the government but there are no teachers. This is a crime,’ said Pastor Jonga who is a recipient of the Yap Thien (Hien) award.

But that is not all. Medical facilities are worryingly poor in this new district that was set up just a few years ago. Another pastor, Eddy Togotly was of the opinion that there is no serious intention on the part of the government to develop Keerom. ‘People dont come to Keerom to help with development. On the contrary.’

Meanwhile, the chairman of commission A of the provincial legislative assembly, Yosep Turot, said that some officials are so far from adequate that they should be sacked from their jobs. He said that there are a number of reasons for this, including the purchase and sale of certificates among officials which has an impact on the performance of the government.

In view of all this, the Coalition is calling for the appointment of a new local government chief who should be credible, intelligent, creative and concerned about the conditions of the people.   And they say that the new chief should pay full attention to the performance of his staff so as to ensure that they work for the development of Keerom and not for their personal interests.’

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