Picture 1. A Photo Taken at Tarempa Village
Anambas is one of the great destinations but hard to reach by air and sea. The only way a person can fly to Anambas is by choosing one of the flights available twice a week from Tanjung Pinang. The arrival destination is the Matak Airport. Nevertheless, the travel continues for approximately 30 minutes to an hour by using a boat to Tarempa Village. If a person travels to Tarempa Village from Batam, that can take approximately twelve hours by a using a ferry.
I had the opportunity to be assigned by Purnomo Yusgianto Center (PYC) to Tarempa Village to conduct field research with the research team from Indonesia Defense University from 9-15 August 2017. The villagers have various ethnics, races, and religions. Most of them have Malay races, and the rest were Javanese, Sumatrans, and others. Due to its various races and ethnicity, I found that the villagers were nice, friendly, and communicative with us.
There were three important issues in Tarempa Village; (1) the accessibility of energy sources, (2) the presence of financial inclusions, and (3) the availability of communication systems. The first issue of accessibility of energy sources seems to be less concerned in this particular area of Indonesia. Although we just had one (electricity) blackout during our stay there, the blackout only lasts for a few minutes. In addition to that, kerosene and firewood -major energy sources that were mostly used by villagers for cooking- are seen to be replaced by the 3 kg and 15 kg Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
However, the villagers I interviewed said that they are still concerned about the possibility of insufficient electricity power for the whole Anambas Island District. This is because the area relies its electricity only on the Diesel Power Plant (PLTD) that is located in Tanjung Momong (north part of Tarempa Village). There were also problems for the people to access fuel for sea transportation, such as for fishing boats. The oil fuel’s price is found to be expensive and difficult to access; thus many fishermen used solar panel instead to power their boats.
Regarding financial inclusions, I specifically interviewed several villagers who work as street vendors. The wealthier villagers usually opened bank accounts at BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia), BRI (Bank Rakyat Indonesia), Bank Kepri, and Syariah Mandiri. The main reason behind their decision to save in banks is that banks provide microlending, in which these loans can help some villagers to grow their businesses. But for those who do not save in banks are mainly because of lack of trust. There has not been many financial inclusions training from financial authorities to villagers. Meanwhile, for communication systems, I found that the village has only four communication towers that are located in the north part of Tarempa Village. It appears that there were problems in the communication system because phone signals were hard to receive.
At the end of my research journey in the field, I found that it is important for us to support the Government of Indonesia on their policies and agendas to develop remote, furthest islands of Indonesia. Also, a thorough communication between the Central Government in Jakarta and provincial government is needed to ensure a sound, progressive development in these islands, particularly, islands in the Natuna Sea of Indonesia.
* Based on the field research report by Putu Rusta Adijaya (Research Intern at Purnomo Yusgiantoro Center)