Biak, Papua (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) attention and concern towards improving welfare of the indigenous Papuan community (OAP) never stops, as is apparent through steps, including by establishing the Modern Fishermen Village (Kalamo) in Samber-Binyeri Village, Yendidori.

Kalamo, located in the coastal area of Binyeri Village, demonstrates the government’s efforts to increase the people’s welfare by developing the fishing village.

This fishing village is expected to improve the standard of living and welfare of local communities.

Samber-Binyeri Village is located in Yendidori Sub-district, five kilometers west of Biak City. This area is inhabited by approximately 70 indigenous Papuan families, who mostly work as fishermen.

Head of Binyeri Village Yacob Binwasef stated that government assistance through the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) program in the form of the construction of Kalamo was a blessing for the local community.

Moreover, this fishing village provides cold storage space for fish and an ice-maker machine to improve the quality of fish caught by fishermen.

Before the government’s assistance arrived, the local fishermen manufactured their own ice cubes to keep the fish fresh that could only last for half a day. By having a proper place to store the fish, the quality can be improved, as freshness of the fish will last longer.

However, Binwasef pointed out that the quality of fish caught by fishermen from his village was still at grade B. Hence, none of these products can be exported.

Therefore, these local fishermen hope to be able to export their catch like other Indonesian fishermen. It is hoped that Kalamo's presence will support the dream of the fishermen of Samber-Binyeri Village.

These fishermen usually sell their fish right after fishing to the market to maintain the fish quality.

Binwasef and fishermen in Binyeri Village expressed their gratitude to the Biak Numfor District Government, the Papua Maritime and Fisheries Service, and the KKP Ministry for building the Kalamo facilities.

Moreover, the ministry has prepared facilitators at the village to support the formation of a cooperative called the Samber Binyeri Maju Cooperative to properly manage fish caught by fishermen.

With this cooperative, fishermen do not have to sell their own catch and focus on catching more fish at sea. So far, the fish caught by the Binyeri fishermen had only been sold to the local fish market.

Facilities at Kalamo

Construction of a Kalamo amounts to Rp22 billion sourced from the 2023 State Budget.

In developing this village, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has prepared main facilities, such as boat docking, ice factory, culinary center, cold storage room, fish shelter, supply kiosk, and dockyard.

Moreover, the ministry had provided supporting facilities, such as a training center, clean water installations, drainage, street lighting, wastewater management installations (IPAL), and the Kalamo management office.

Furthermore, gates, road improvements, electricity substations, and fuel stations for fishermen (SPBU) have been provided.

Head of the Papua Province Maritime and Fisheries Service (DKP) Iman Djuniawal remarked that this fishermen village will become a pilot project for other modern fishing villages in Papua.

The Kalamo is expected to improve the local community’s economy, including of the indigenous family, and improve their welfare as well.

The DKP lauded the construction of a modern fishing village in Biak Numfor District. It is hoped that the presence of a modern fishing village in Papua in the future will become a center for fresh tuna fish exporters to various countries.

The management of Kalamo

During his visit to Papua, the president urged the KKP Ministry to pay attention to the management of Kalamo. Infrastructure in the village must also be maintained.

Moreover, he pressed for upskilling for fishermen in Kalamo, so that they can manage their catch and compete in domestic and foreign markets.

In terms of the economic value, the operation of this modern fishing village, which is based on a cooperative, can reduce the price of ice cubes by half, from the normal price of Rp1,600 per kilogram to just Rp800.

The income earned by the village management is expected to be able to finance operational needs, such as paying for electricity bills, clean water, and salaries of the management employees. Later, if the operation is successful, this village can be replicated in other areas.

Biak Numfor District Head Herry Ario Naap stated that the complete facilities of Kalamo in Samber-Binyeri Village would significantly benefit the local indigenous community.

Moreover, the modern fishermen's village has been built with various supporting facilities to increase the fishermen’s income.

Kalamo is expected to become a center for knowledge studies in the fisheries and marine sector in Biak Numfor District. Its existence is also expected to help the region to become a supplier of fish needs and as the front door to strengthening Indonesia's maritime affairs in the Pacific.

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Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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