The development in West Papua is still progressing. Besides improving health services (especially for tackling Covid-19 cases), other infrastructures are also being built.
Recently, Indonesian Army built eight homes for the poor in Sorong. This has been claimed by a senior official. The exact location for the eight, liveable houses for poor families are in Kamlin, a village in the sub-district of Wemak.
The TMMD Community Service Program
Building eight houses for the poor in Sorong, is actually a part of the on-going program called TMMD. TMMD is a program that involves integrated soldiers to develop villages.
On March 17, 2021, Commander of the XVIII/Kasuari Regional Military Command, Major General I Nyoman Cantiasa, was present during the implementation of the 110th TMMD Community Service Program in Kamlin, Sorong. With this program, the Indonesian Army is supporting the improvement of social welfare in many regions. Kamlin village is one of the targeted areas to receive aid.
Cantiasa did not only thank the village people in Kamlin for having supported and participated in the program. He had also distributed foods to Kamlin residents, school supplies and some volleballs to their children in primary school. Another thing he donated was a guitar, which was meant for church activities.
Why Only Eight Houses So Far?
West Papua and Papua have been the Indonesian army’s targets in terms of supporting the government’s efforts to address disparity issues between both provinces and then with other provinces in Indonesia. The deployed soldiers in both provinces have the obligations to be responsive in seeking solutions and overcoming challenges dealt by the Papuan communities on a regular basis.
This mandate is also an addition to their central task, which is to defend Indonesia’s territorial integrity. They are also in charge of the safety of all Indonesians.
Still, why only eight houses so far? Just like a lot of things going on in the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the state funds. According to Cantiasa, this has also affected the TMMD program.
However, that does not mean the TMMD will just stop right there. Cantiasa claimed that in the future, TMMD would continue to do it in great scale. That way, this program will help more people in the community. In turns, the community will enjoy the equity in wealth distribution.
The Development So Far
We all know that Papua and West Papua are sharing the same land as Papua New Guinea (PNG). Their geopolitical and geostrategic positions are severely important for Indonesia, especially in terms of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Based on the latest report on the development of human resources there, the Human Development Index scores are still unfortunately low. In 2019, Papua’s score on the Human Development Index was still 64.7, while West Papua had scored 60.84.
This is why both regions are still the main targets for the TMMD community service programs. It would be unfortunate if these two provinces remained left behind than other provinces in Indonesia.
For years through TMMD, Indonesian soldiers have helped the communities in the two regions in terms of improving the human capital quality. As part of their support for the development in West Papua and Papua, this program will still continue until these two provinces catch up with the rest of Indonesians.
Other Activities Indonesian Army Has Done So Far Through the TMMD Community Service Program:
Besides having built eight houses for the poor in Kamlin, Sorong, here are some other activities that they have done so far:
Launching a mask-wearing campaign in terms of preventing the spreading of Corona virus.
On February 21, 2021, Indonesian army personnel was launching a mask-wearing campaign to socialize the prevention of Covid-19. The campaign was also done in Sorong. Not only donating free masks, these soldiers were also helping the local citizens to wear their masks.
Besides campaigning for the Sorong residents to start wearing masks, the Indonesian soldiers also helped to socialize the health protocol: washing hands more often and thoroughly, maintaining social distance in public space, and also taking a shower and changing clothes once the residents got home.
Helping residents to construct a church.
On February 22, 2021, soldiers of Indonesia-PNG Border Security Task Force collaborated with the Yetti Village residents to construct a church. Yetti Village is located in Arso Timur Sub-district, Keerom District, Papua. Together, the whole team dismantled materials from an old chapel. These materials were reused to build a brand new church.
Not only that, these soldiers have also volunteered to become teachers at local schools. They teach writing and mathematics to students from 12 elementary schools. They have extended their voluntary teaching to other areas to in Papua, like Sota, Neukenjerai, Eligobel, and Ulilin in Merauke since July 2019.
These are the community services the Indonesian Army has done so far for the development in West Papua and Papua. Of course, there is still a lot of work to do after this.