Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo is scheduled to declare 74 villages in Papua and West Papua as villages with access to electricity on Wednesday.
State electricity company`s (PLN) business director for Maluku and Papua regions Ahmad Rofik said in a press release received here on Tuesday the 74 villages are part of 191 villages in Papua and West Papua to be supplied with electricity by PLN.
“This will be a special gift for people in remote villages in Papua and West Papua from PLN,” he said.
He said it took Rp150 billion for PLN to open access to electricity to the 74 villages with 1,040 families, adding potential families still have yet to be supplied with electricity total 2,700.
PLN needs Rp150 million to open access to electricity to one family due to geographical challenges of the villages there, he said.
Rofik said difficult access, extreme weather as well as social problems have not discouraged PLN to open access to electricity to isolated villages in Papua and West Papua.
“There are a lot of challenges we face including field condition that makes mobilization of equipment difficult as well as social problems but seeing the villagers being satisfied gives us happiness and encouragement,” he said.
In Nabire, two villages which are Bomopay and Paraito will be supplied with electricity this month, he said.
Bomopay is located 60 kilometers from the city of Nabire and populated with 63 families who are farmers.
Parauto on the other hand is located 66 kilometers from Nabire with 48 families who are also mostly farmers.
The head of corporate communication unit of PLN, I Made Suprateka, said rural electricity development is one of the government`s strategic programs to increase the ratio of electrification and rural electricity.
In the past two years PLN has increased electrification ratio in the eastern Papua province from 45.93 percent to 50.11 percent and ratio of rural electricity from 22.02 percent in 2015 to 29,53 percent in 2017.
In West Papua electrification ratio has risen from 82.7 percent to 91.76 percent while ratio of rural electricity from 33.23 percent in 2015 to 54.47 percent in 2017.
The number of villages in Papua and West Papua that have had no access to electricity in 3016 was recorded at 2,376,
A total of 1,941 of the villages will be supplied with electricity using solar energy saving lights program by the ministry of energy while the number of villages to be supplied with electricity by PLN until 2018 totals 435.