SAUBEBA: PORTRAIT OF A SUCCESSFUL VILLAGE IN IRIAN JAYA

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MANOKWARI, Irian Jaya (November 5, 2000 – Indonesian Observer/Antara/Kabar-Irian)---The village of Saubeba, located in Manokwari district, reflects the government’s success in implementing its development program in Irian Jaya province.

Manokwari is situated in the eastern part of the so-called Bird’s Head area in Indonesia’s easternmost province.

"Saubeba has great potential for growing crops for export such as cacao," assistant secretary of the local administration, Jack Kapissa, said in Manokwari, Irian Jaya, recently.

Quoting Indonesian agricultural experts, Kapissa said the soil in Saubeba is very fertile.

Inhabited by 58 families consisting of 215 people from the Arfak tribe, the village has been successfully developed.

"Its people have the will to attain progress so they have worked hard to grow cacao," Kapissa added.

He said cacao has become the main commodity of Manokwari since researchers found that cacao trees grow very rapidly in almost all areas of the village.

To eradicate pests, Saubeba farmers do not use pesticides but smoke from bonfires, Kapissa said, adding that smoke exterminates such pests as Helopeltis sp, Pseudodoniela sp, and Parabriosis sp as well as molds (Phythoptora palmivora sp).

To the Arfak tribe, he noted, smoke is the safest "pesticide."

Health and education in the small village, which is located at the foot of the Arfak mountains, have received serious attention from the local administration and concerned agencies, which had jointly built an integrated mother-child health care center, a family planning center and an elementary school.

Saubeba has become a model village in Irian Jaya. Located in a coastal area, it is a 35-minute drive from Manokwari.

Thanks to Cendrawasih University in Jayapura, capital of Irian Jaya, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and the local administration, Saubeba villagers enjoy clean water from a facility that was built this year at a cost of Rp47 million (US$ 5,063.28).

"With the new facility, the people do not have to use rainwater and river water anymore," Kapissa said.

"The people do not have to worry again, especially during the dry season because the facility can provide 77,760 liters of clean water per day," he added.

Before the clean water facility was built, Saubeba villagers had to walk 500 meters (550 yards) to find water.

"Saubeba villagers have learned much and do not want to return to their old condition anymore," Kapissa said.

Irian Jaya is rich in mineral resources but has remained underdeveloped.

KABAR-IRIAN ("Irian News") Websites: http://www.irja.org/index2.shtml  and http://www.kabar-irian.com 

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