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JAKARTA, Indonesia (Jakarta Post - July 10, 1999)---At least 1,300 people in the Irian Jaya capital of Jayapura and Cilacap in Central Java have been affected by malaria.

ANTARA news agency reported that Sarmi district in Irian Jaya was the hardest-hit area, where some 1,100 residents were found on Thursday to be in critical conditions by the Navy medical team now on a civic mission in the province. Hundreds of others were suffering from skin diseases or tuberculosis.

The team, led by Lt. Herry Ajisuwondo, provided medical care for the sufferers and helped locals build roads, community buildings and a church. They are also giving a short course on agriculture.

In Cilacap, malaria was found in Kampung Laut district, where 200 people have been affected and two people have died.

Regent Herry Tabri and health officials visited the fishermen's villages and gave out medicines on Thursday.

The regent said he found almost all people in Ujung Alang village had been affected with fever caused by malaria.

He suspected that lack of awareness of sanitation had enabled the disease to spread.

Cilacap is one of 11 regencies in Central Java listed as vulnerable to malaria.



MERAUKE, Irian Jaya (July 9, 1999 - ANTARA)---The administration of Queensland, a state in Australia, is planning to invest in timber estates in Merauke district, Irian Jaya, and at the same time purchase the products of these estates.

According to the head of Merauke’s tourism service, C. J. Fofied, Queensland usually buys timber from Kinibalu, Malaysia, but after learning of the excellent quality of Merauke timber, Queensland officials decided to invest in this district and buy its timber.

He said that among the reasons the Queensland administration had chosen Merauke as a site for investment in timber estates was the relatively close proximity of Queensland to Merauke. The greater distance between Queensland and Kinibalu, Malaysia means higher transportation costs for Queensland timber importers.

Meanwhile, Merauke district head H.R. Soekardjo separately said that he had conveyed the desire of the Queensland administration to invest in timber estates in Merauke to the central government, in order that it might immediately result in the issuance of necessary licenses.



MERAUKE, Irian Jaya (July 9, 1999 - ANTARA)---The tourism department of the Merauke district administration has asked Milne Bay Air (MBA), a subsidiary of Australian flag-carrier Qantas, to resume air service connecting Daru, Western Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Merauke district.

The company conducted trial flights on the route in 1997.

Tourism head C. J. Fofied told ANTARA here Friday that reactivation of the air route by MBA would facilitate visits by citizens of PNG to Irian Jaya and vice versa.

Fofied said that his office had learned that MBA had decided to stop flying the air route following trial flights because Merauke's Mopah airport authorities had impose high facilities charges on MBA.

He added that a delegation of Irian Jaya provincial administration officials, now in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, attending the Darwin Expo, would discuss the resumption of the Daru-Merauke route directly with Qantas.



JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (July 9, 1999 ANTARA)---For Fiscal Year 1999-2000, the government has allocated Rp 2.6 billion to finance the construction of a road in the Irianese district of Merauke leading to the border of neighboring Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Speaking to newsmen here Friday, the provincial public works office's head for road construction, P. Simanjuntak, said the fund will come from a foreign loan channeled through the state budget.

He said the fund will be used to finance the construction of a five kilometer (three mile) road linking Merauke and Kuprik, and a 10 kilometer (six mile) road linking Kuprik and Erambu near the Indonesian-PNG border.

According to Simanjuntak, the roads will pass potential resettlement areas from which transmigrants will be able to market their agricultural produce in Merauke.

The opening of the new roads is expected to facilitate land transportation from Merauke to several PNG border areas, he added.

KABAR IRIAN ("Irian News")

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