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When a dense forest turns into an oil palm plantation

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A landowner Filemon Basik-Basik expressed his disappointment to PT ACP- Jubi / Frans L Kobun

Alfasera I – IV located in Muting sub-district, Merauke Regency once was a dense forest. Today it’s a big oil palm plantation.

Along the way to the office and lodgment for employees of PT Agriprima Cipta Persada (ACP), people will solely find oil palm trees along the road, whereas the forest which was a source of livelihood for indigenous Papuans was entirely gone.
PT. ACP who’s responsible for this had promised aids to the nine clans in Muting sub-district before cutting down their forest and turning it the oil palm plantation since 2013. However, it’s only a promise that causes people’s disappointment.
A landowner Pius Mbanang Ndiken who is also a security guard of PT. ACP Muting told Jubi on Monday (22/10/2018) that the company promised many things to the nine clans in Muting sub-district so that they agreed to give their forest for the plantation.
“Our forest has cleared out for the oil palm plantation, and some places that used to be sacred and protected from generation to generation also expelled,” he said.
Moreover, he said the company and local community have made several agreements including the company will build houses for landowners, provide five units of chainsaws but they only get two.
The company also promised to provide financial support for the education for the children from the nine clans to high schools and universities in Kalimantan. Meanwhile, establishing a cooperative and providing business funds for the nine family clans are other promises.
“We thought the company has cheated and lied against indigenous Papuans who have sacrificed their forest for the benefits of investors,” he said.
Furthermore, he said due to the deforestation, all animals have disappeared and moved to the swamp area in recent years.
When asked about the land used for the oil palm plantation, he said the company told it’s only 7,000 hectares, whereas there are almost 20,000 hectares of forest cleared out.
“If you think I told you a lie, I will take you around to look more closely at how many thousands of hectares of forest were cleared out to benefit the investors,” he said.
He also complains that the company only employed indigenous Papuans for manual works instead of in the office.  “We brought our children who graduated from high school to work in the office, but they told us to wait and be patient,” he said.
Another landowner Filemon Basik-Basik also expressed his disappointment towards the company.  “They only gave us their promises. They deceived us and used us to destroy our forest for the oil palm plantation and investors. They made a fool on us. We feel harmful by dishonest investors,” he further said.
The company said only 8,500 hectares of land opened
By contrast, the Public Relations Officer of PT ACP Eddy Mulya Setiadi said the company only opened about 8,500 hectares of land since they cultivated the oil palm trees from 2013 to 2015.
Today the number of the company’s employees is 1500 people in which 50 per cent are indigenous Papuans including the landowners from the nine clans, whereas the rest are non-Papuans from Java, Makassar and East Nusa Tenggara.
When asked about the company’s plan of land clearing, he admitted it detained due to the environmental issue raised by some NGOs. It causes some rejections from the local community including the Mahuze clan. The land that supposed to open is around 10,000 hectares.
He then added that it’s already three years of planting, and the oil palm will ready to harvest in the fourth year and sell to PT. BIA. “In January 2019, machines and other equipment will be transported for harvesting and producing the oil palm in Muting,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Ans K
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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HIV/AIDS transmission in Jayapura Regency claimed to decline

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Photo illustration of health services. – Pexels.com

Sentani, Jubi – Jayapura Health Office claims HIV/AIDS cases in Jayapura Regency has declined with only 3,202 cases occurred until last year.

“HIV/AIDS prevention is a complex issue. It would not only the responsibility of the health office, but all parties should contribute in educating the community,” said Pungut Sunarto, the Division Head of Disease Prevention and Management of the Jayapura Regional Health Office, on Tuesday (21/1/2020).

People living with HIV/AIDS in Jayapura Regency are mostly the productive age group ranging from 20-49 years old. There are also infants and children among patients.

“We are always updating the report on people living with HIV/AIDS [in our region]. If not, they would not be able to access the ARV,” said Pungut.

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He further said that the family plays a crucial role in preventing HIV/AIDS transmission. Similarly, he continued, life endurance among people living with HIV/AIDS depends on the support from their closest family.

“Those living with HIV/AIDS who regularly take their medicines (ARV) can reduce their medicine (ARV) can reduce the risk of virus transmission. So, please do not blame and stigmatise them,” said Pungut.

Meanwhile, a Sentani resident Edison Sineri agrees that parents have a significant role in preventing their children from behaviours that likely lead to the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexual diseases.

“Currently, young people are easily get involved in promiscuity that difficult to control by parents. It possibly leads them to negative behaviours.” (*)

 

Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Lawyers question commitment over Papuan political prisoners’ right

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Three of seven Papuan political prisoners. – Jubi/Piter Lokon

Nabire, Jubi – The Papua Coalition for Law Enforcement and Human Rights urges the attorney general to fulfil the right of health for seven political prisoners detained in Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur and consider it as a neglection of the prisoners’ rights.

“We release this statement after one of our clients experienced vomiting blood. He had an internal disease issue,” said the Coordinator Emanuel Gobay on Friday (24/1/2020).

The coalition team asks the Papuan Attorney General’s commitment to providing the right of health to the prisoners as previously promised. It never occurred. Indeed, the Attorney General has neglected their family’s right to visit.

“If the seven detainees were in Papua, of course, their family can come to visit and find an alternative for health treatment.

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Therefore, Gobay urges the Attorney General of Papua to recall the seven political prisoners to Jayapura. He said the security issue is no longer relevant as a reason to allocate their trial outside of Papua.

“It is unfair (for the seven detainees) referred that all the trial hearings of anti-racism case held in Papua. All those trials are going well and safe,” asserted Gobay.

Meanwhile, a coalition member Oktovianus Tabuni added that in principle the seven political prisoners are respecting their legal process. However, they want to have their trial in Papua.

“The principle of a trial is to have a timely and low-cost process. Do not let it (the trial) float up like what has been happening now,” said Tabuni. (*)

 

Reporter: Titus Ruban

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Autonomy budget cut off, Jayawijaya Government reduce supplementary feeding budget

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Photo illustration of milk. -Pixabay.com

Wamena, Jubi – The Government of Jayawijaya Regency has reduced the number of schools to receive funding on the Supplementary Feeding Program (PMTAS). The reduction relates to the Special Autonomy Funds cut off for the PON (the National Games) 2020

Nurlili, an official at the Jayawijaya Village Community Empowerment Office (DPMK), said last year the program was running in five schools in Napua, Maima, Musaftaf, Wita Waya and Wadangku subdistricts.

“There allocate for only two schools this year because of the budget cut off for the PON. We depend on the Special Autonomy Funds for this program,” Nurlili said in Wamena on Tuesday (21/1/2020).

In 2020, the local government plans to implement the program in four sub-districts, namely Asolokobal, Wesaput, Muliama and Tagime. “But, Muliama and Tagime sub-districts are a bit far, so we decided to implement the program in the zone two, namely in SD YPPK Hepuba in Asolokobal Sub-district and SD Inpres Wesaput in Wesaput Subdistrict,” he said.

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The budget allocation for PMTAS Year 2020 reduced from IDR 857 million to IDR 468 million.

However, Nurlili hopes that in February they can conduct training for teachers and women at sub-districts and village levels on healthy food for children.

“At the end of the training, we will purchase some items that are not available in sub-districts and villages to deliver in March. They will be cooking food for the pupils, and we will monitor its implementation. There will be a payment for the cooks, but they should submit the report first,” he said.

In addition to food ingredients, the local government also provides cash for schools to purchase some food from the local markets to help the cash flow of villages and sub-districts.

“This program is very critical because President Jokowi has instructed us to decrease stunting among children. Therefore, we allocate the PMTAS for the primary school children because it is their growth period,” he said. (*)

 

Source: ANTARA

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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