PT Dongin Prabhawa Neglecting 27 Children from Ngguti District, Merauke

According to Urbanus Kief Yolmen, who works with children in Merauke’s Ngguti District, 27 children from Nakias and Salamepe villages who PT Dongin Prabhawa has brought from their villages to stay in dormitories in order to continue their studies at middle and high schools are not being treated properly.

According to Yolmen, the children have been living in a dormitory on Febulan Alley for around seven months. The problem is, they are not receiving proper treatment from the company, which is operating a plantation in the two villages.

“All that time, if a child has fallen sick, they haven’t been well looked after, so they have had to find their own way to get medication so they can get better. What’s more, the company is only giving them rice, instant noodles, tinned fish and five chickens a month to eat”, said Yolmen, when Jubi met him in the Merauke District Legislative Assembly compound.

The company had also committed to giving each child 150,000 Rupiah a month pocket money. But they only gave it for three months, They have not received it for the last four months. “I have already tried to meet the company leadership, but did not get a proper response,” he said.

Another problem, Yolmen said,, is that the children’s security is not being ensured. People can enter the dormitory as they please. This means the children are distrubed when they want to study or do other things. The company should place someone there that can guard the place.

“Actually two people, including myself, have been watching over the children as they study and rest at night. The thing is, even if they get told off many times, people from outside don’t seem to care”, said Yolmen.

He added that PT Dongin Prabhawa should make a commitment to look after the children while they are staying there for their eduction. That was the agreement that was made between the company and the customary landowners in the villages.

Merauke’s Bupati, Romanus Mbaraka, said recently in a meeting with the community in Wayau village, that companies must act on whatever agreements they have made with communities who hold customary rights over the land they use.

“Yes, of course social facilities including educating children from the villages must be a priority for the companies. In that way the communities who hold land rights will also feel they are being looked after,” he made clear.

Source: Tabloid Jubi

[awasMIFEE note: Dongin Prabhawa is a subsidiary of Korindo which has been operating an oil palm plantation in Merauke since 2011]

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