President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo rode trail bikes to inspect a stretch of dirt roads in Wamena in the Papua highlands — part of the 4,300 kilometer Trans-Papua road project — on Wednesday (10/05).
Jokowi, accompanied by Military Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, traveled in a military convoy on the Wamena-Mamumu 1 section of the Trans-Papua road.
“Imagine how difficult it was for the builders [of the road],” he told reporters after the inspection on Wednesday.
Jokowi said the Indonesia Military (TNI) was cooperating with the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry to finish the project by 2019.
“In the beginning [the project] was carried out by the TNI, before the ministry joined in to get it done faster,” said Jokowi.
The president made good on his promise to Indonesian students in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 26 during his state visit down under.
"We're working on the Trans-Papua road morning, noon and night. What for? So that justice is served, [development] should be felt even in the most remote parts of Indonesia," the president said back then.
Jokowi said eventually the dirt roads will be paved with asphalt.
he Public Works and Housing Ministry has set a target for the Trans-Papua road to be opened in 2018.
While in Papua. the president also attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a gas-powered mobile power plant in Jayapura, the capital city of Papua.
There are three provinces on the island of Papua: West Papua, Central Papua and Papua. The Trans-Papua road will run from one end of the island to the other.