Papua province and West Papua are inseparable parts of the Republic of Indonesia. Covering 312 Km² of Indonesia, this easternmost part is still hard to access thus rendering the infrastructure development in that area complicated. The infrastructure development in Papua and West Papua is still considered left behind compared to other parts of Indonesia.
Steps Taken by the Government of Indonesia
Papua is more than capable to be a considerable power in the economic sector of Indonesia if supported by sufficient infrastructure. Because of this reason, the presidents of Indonesia make a priority to build transportation and logistics infrastructures as the answer to the long question of underdevelopment, geographical isolation, and lower income situation of Papua.
This commitment is strengthened by the passing of a regional autonomy bill called Otonomi Khusus Papua (Otsus Papua) during the presidency of Habibie, Resolutions of the People’s Representative Council (MPR) no IV year 1999. This special autonomy is also written under the guideline of nation’s policy or GBHN (Garis Besar Haluan Negara) 1999-2004, where recognition, developments, and human rights resolution is the main focus of special autonomy of Papua (Dewi, 2020).
As for the advancement of people’s well-being in Papua province and West Papua, contained in law no. 21 year 2001 about the special autonomy of Papua. In this law, it is mentioned that there are four aspects of development to prioritize: education, health, small economic enterprises, and infrastructural development.
The purpose of this law and presidential instruction is to reduce poverty rate, economic price index, and infrastructural development equality in Indonesia. In order to support this goal, the ministry of general works and people’s housing (PUPR) implements the development steps together precisely, integrated, and in synergy with the local government.
The Advancement of Development in Papua Province and West Papua
Considered as of of regions in Terdepan, Terluar dan Tertinggal (3T) or frontier, isolated, outskirt, the development of Papua Province and West Papua is a major project in The Nation’s Mid Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2020-2024.
One of the results in this plan is the Trans Papua, built for 3.462 km, and still going. Planned during Soeharto presidency, and still being constructed until now during Jokowi presidency, this road development is giving a big impact for people in Papua.
Trans Papua road as a national project to connect Papua Province with West Papua. This project is planned by the National Board of Planning and Development (Bappenas) and executed by the ministry of general works and people’s housing (PUPR) through Balai Jalan Nasional. Up until now, from a total of 3.446 km, 1.733 km of it was done in asphalt, 1.712 km of it is gravel, and the rest of it for 16 km is still inaccessible.
Trans Papua has become a way to connect the regions developed before, and open access to these regions which were isolated such as Yahukimo, Nduga, Tolikara and Puncak (Pamungkas, 2017).
Infrastructure Development for Future West Papua.
In the national development plan, Papua and Maluku is an untapped economic sector of Indonesia. In order to establish these regions, the government is planning another infrastructural development based on natural resources, special regional development, and a new economical sector center.
By constructing the logistics and transportation infrastructure, easier access to connect isolated regions in Maluku and Papua can be established easily. The construction of Trans Papua has a positive impact to the people of Papua, especially in the basic economic sector, health service and improvement in general health of the locals. Because of Trans Papua, the people in Papua have easy access to health facilities that were hard to reach before.
From the economic sector, Trans Papua has given an easier access in terms of distribution of economic goods from regions in Papua, which in turn solving the problem of scarcity and high pricing for daily needs for the people in secluded and outskirt regions.