Jayapura, 20/2 (Jubi) – The desire of indigenous Papuan women traders to have a permanent market will not be realized any time soon because the provincial government has to first build a new Damri office on Jalan Baru Kotaraja, Jayapura, Papua.
The head of the Public Works (PU) Department in Papua, Maikel Kambuaya, said Damri had requested to relocate and construct its office first before a market can be built. Since 2013, the provincial government has prepared the area for construction.
“The previous government had the budget and if they had been serious, the market would have been built. This year Damri office construction is prioritized and will complete in 2015. So, I hope traders will be patient,” said Kambuaya on Thursday (2/20).
He added that the traders rejected the offer to build their market near Papua Provincial Health Office.
The issue of customary land rights for Damri office construction site is no longer a problem. The local government has paid the holder of the tenure.
“It was true that there were a blockade two weeks ago, but we told the customary holder to solve the issue internally because it was already paid. Otherwise we would have to call the police to deal with it,” he said.
One trader, Yuliana Pigay, said she and her fellow traders will never get tired of fighting for a permanent market in the middle of the city of Jayapura, despite having struggled for 13 years.
“For years, we keep getting duped by officials who promised of our children who become officials. We get angry and annoyed. There was a budget of Rp 10 billion and now Rp 45 billion. But we do not know how the budget has been spent because there is no progress in the development of the market,” said Yuliana.
She land issues had been used as a pretext to delay construction.
“We areso surprised because mayor after mayor, DPRP members after DPRP MEMBERS, Papuan Peoples Assembly (MRP) after MRP , officials after offcials and governor after governor, the fate of market construction is not clear. Do we need to wait Jesus Christ to come to build our market?” she said. (Jubi / Arjuna/ Tina)