Tag Archives: Indonesian neglect of Papua

No primary schools in over a thousand kampungs in Papua

JUBI,

28 November 2012

Jayapura: The head of  the Education, Youth and Sports Service in the province of Papua, James Modouw, said that there are at least one thousand kampungs (villages) spread across the province where there is no primary school.

‘Of the more than four thousand kampungs in Papua,’ he said, ‘ it is thought that around 1,047 do not have a primary school. It is also the case that throughout the district of Suru-Suru in the Regency of Asmat, there are eight kampungs, none of which has a primary school. This does not include the regency of Yahukimo about which no data has yet been received.’

He said that the kampungs without a primary school are mainly in the mountainous regions of Papua. ‘In the whole of the Bintang Highland Regency, there is not a single primary school,’ he said. The same is true throughout the regencies of Lany Jaya, Puncak Jaya and Nduga. ‘This is a matter that requires the attention of the local governments in these areas,’ he said.

He said that the problem of the lack of availability of primary education in Papua should be resolved. ‘We call on the local and municipal  administrations to  insist that adequate funds are made available for primary schools everywhere in the 2013 budget.so as to deal with the lack of schools and the widespread illiteracy among the Papuan people. He said that is calculated that thirty percent of Papuan children get no education at all.

[Translated by TAPOL]

[COMMENT: Over the years, we have read so many reports about the non-availability of teachers as well as healthcare workers in so many parts of West Papua. This is clearly an extremely serious matter indeed, a situation that clearly has not improved since the enactment of the Special  Autonomy Law in 2001, more than eleven years ago. No wonder Papuans are being thrust aside as more and more better-educated migrants from other parts of the country outnumber Papuans and take control of the territory’s economy and administration. As is so often the case, Papuans are frequently described as being ‘terbelakang’ or ‘backward’. So whose fault is that?! TAPOL]

 

Food Crisis after Papua Floods

CRITICAL INFORMATION


Banjir Ambarita | April 17, 2011

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/food-crisis-after-papua-floods/435985

Jayapura. Thousands of people are at risk of starvation and disease after heavy flooding in Papua’s Paniai district, an official said over the weekend.

District head Naftali Yogi said heavy rains over the past three months have led to Lake Paniai overflowing and flooding at least seven subdistricts in up to 4 meters of water, destroying homes and farmland and rendering thousands of families homeless.

There have been no reports of casualties as a direct result of the flooding.

“The situation now is pretty grim because so much agricultural land and so many fish farms have been flooded and can’t be harvested,” he said.

“This means that around 10,000 people who are subsistence farmers and rely on prompt harvests are at risk of starvation.”

Naftali said the extent of the flooding also made outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, respiratory ailments and malaria more likely.

“We don’t have enough medical supplies or health workers to respond to a potential outbreak,” he said.

“So we’re calling on all residents not to drink water from the lake. Drink rainwater instead.”

He added his administration was already distributing food supplies to residents, including uncooked rice and instant noodles — both of which need to be cooked in clean water. However, authorities have not distributed any potable water.

“We’ve been given Rp 1 billion [$115,000] in relief aid from the provincial administration and Rp 500 million from Jakarta, but that’s only enough for a month,” Naftali said.

“We expect many residents won’t be able to farm for another two years, so they’ll need food aid until then.”

Authorities have not set up shelters for the evacuees, who have been forced to stay with family and friends or out in the open.

“We’re still looking for sites where we can set up temporary shelters for those rendered homeless,” Naftali said.

He blamed the flooding on the increased sedimentation in Lake Paniai, which he said was a result of the clearing of forests in areas adjacent to the lake.

“About 10 years ago the military scorched the forests because they suspected that separatists were hiding out there, and since then there hasn’t been any effort to reforest the area,” he said.

Besides the effects of deforestation and subsequent flooding, Naftali said the district was also at threat from illegal mining.

He said illegal gold mines in Baya Biru subdistrict were responsible for large-scale pollution and environmental degradation.

“We’ve given the companies responsible until June to halt their activities, but obviously this is a tricky issue to handle,” Naftali said.

“There are an estimated 7,000 people working in the industry there.”

He said previous calls by the district and Papuan administrations for a halt to the illegal mining had fallen on deaf ears because of the many interests involved in the industry.

“Those mines are so remote that you can only get there by helicopter,” he said.

“If those helicopter services could be stopped, there would be no more mining, but they continue to transport workers, supplies and ore in and out of there.”

Papua Church Leader Warns Of ‘Unfair’ Gubernatorial Election

FYI
The Jakarta Post
Monday, April 11, 2011 

Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The death of a prominent Papuan leader has sparked concerns over the
security of the upcoming gubernatorial election in the volatile
region.

GKI Papua synod deputy chairman Rev. Elimelekh D. Doirebo said that
the demise of former Papuan People’s Assembly speaker Agus Alue Alua
destroyed any expectations of a fair and safe election for the
province this September, as well as undermined the possibility of a
pro-Papuan Assembly.

“Agus was very vocal in fighting for the rights of the Papuan people,
including supporting the policy that Papua local administration heads
must be Papuan,” he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

Agus reportedly died Thursday at Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura.
Agus, who was re-elected to the Assembly for a second term, died soon
after being admitted to hospital. The cause of death is unknown.

Agus was known for his policies, including a decree stipulating that
Papua local administration heads and their deputies must be from the
region.“We believe Agus died as a result of the persistent
intimidation he faced,” Elimelekh said.

He claimed Agus faced threats especially from Barisan Merah Putih,
which wanted to oust the original members of the Assembly whom they
perceived as too radical in their defense of Papuan rights and their
opposition to special autonomy.

In June last year, rallies initiated by the original Assembly members
drew thousands in Jayapura, who issued 11 recommendations for a better
solution to the strife in Papua.

The protestors urged the central government to annul special autonomy,
which they claimed was a tool for the central government to win the
hearts of Papuans while toning down demands for independence.

They also called for a dialog mediated by neutral international
parties to address Papuan grievances.

“Several Papuans in Jakarta once came to Papua to meet Agus and
basically forced him to stop criticizing the election of new Assembly
members and special autonomy. They also forced him to step down,”
Elimelekh claimed.

Later, he added, Agus was removed from the roster of new Assembly
members following accusations he supported separatism.

Hana Hikoyabi, who was also re-elected to the Assembly, was likewise
disqualified. As of today, the new elected Assembly members, who will
serve until 2016, have not been inaugurated.

The GKI, along with Papua’s KINGMI synod and Papua’s Baptist churches
synod, boast a following of more than 1.3 million members, most of
them native Papuans.

Food supplies for flood victims far too little



JUBI, 6 April 2011 

Only 200 kgs of rice for flood victims

The delivery of only 200 kgs of rice and 20 packets of supermie from the Paniai district government to a large number of flood victims is far from adequate for the number of victims now living there  in tents.

Mabipai Degei, a villager from the district of Ekadide, said the delivery of food supplies was far too little for the many evacuees. He said that the district chief  and the head of social services had sent supplies for the victims last week. ‘But is is far from adequate and in the past few days, we dont have any more food.’

Assistance from the  Paniai district government has failed to respond to the complaints  of the flood refugees. According to Degei, the local government was far too apathetic and, since the flood started, there have been no supplies from other sources.

The chairman  of the Flood Mitigation Team in Paniai, Benny Degei, also regretted the apathy shown by the local government. ‘Where else can we look to for help, if not to the local government?’ he asked.This calamity started more than a month ago in Ekadide and Adadide yet the regional government has  paid no attention to the problem.

Efforts are under way by students in Jayapura who originate from Paniai to collect food supplies for the victims of the flood.

UNICEF: Malaria still dominant in Papua

JUBI 7 October 2010

UNICEF: Malaria still dominant in Papua

Malaria is still the major health problem in Papua and causes widespread
damage, with 17 percent of the population affected in 2009, according to
the UNICEF representative, William Hawley who, together with the US
ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Merciel, held a meeting with midwives at
the local clinic  in Abepura.

With such a high percentage of the incidence of malaria in 2009, the
financial cost was at leasst Rp 20.5 billion for the year. 'Malaria not
only affects the health of pregnant women but also the foetus being
carried by the women as well as the baby.'

He said that it causes anaemia, infection of the placenta, malaria
complications and can even be fatal. As a result, babies are often born
underweight or prematurely and are stillborn or underweight babies which
can result in their death.'

Jana Fitria who is the UNICEF representative in Papua said she hoped
these problems would be tackled as quickly  as possible with the help of
experienced midwives. Combating malaria  has been part of the USAID -
UNICEF programme in Papua since 2006, with a total investment so far of
US$4 million.