Agats District, a Papan City in Asmat Papua Full of Electric Motorcycles

goodmorningpapua.com – Agats District, Asmat Regency, Papua, is known as the City of Papan. Apparently, that’s because the majority of villages in Asmat Regency, including Agats District, have roads and houses made of boards and wood.

Agats District is a capital city of Asmat Regency which is surrounded by the sea. The district consists of 12 villages or the equivalent with the county. All the streets and buildings in the Agats District are shaped like stilts that are about 1 to 2 meters high from the ground. The house was deliberately built that way to anticipate the entry of sea tides in the area. In addition, the soil surface in the Agats region is muddy.

“It used to be all board (roads). If the tide went up on this road, it was only an inch (left),” said a resident named Joko in Agats, Asmat Regency, Papua, Tuesday (22/3/2022). However, in recent years, development in the Agats region has progressed. Currently the main roads in the Asmat Capital City are made of concrete, although some roads, house buildings, and lodgings are still made of planks, wood, and plywood.

There are also many grocery shops, cell phone kiosks, food stalls, to restaurants typical of areas outside Papua. Unfortunately, typical Papuan places to eat are actually very rare in Agats.

“I think that even though I’m from here, the current development is that there is more food from outside. Meanwhile, there is very little local food. It should be more local food,” said a resident, Yance.

The majority of the indigenous people in Agats work as fishermen. Going to sea or running a boat has become the daily life of the residents. They usually go fishing to the sea by using a boat called fiber or ketingting. This is not only done by adults, but also by children. There are also residents who catch fish in the swamps around the village.

Children often play in the water on the pier and swamp. When the tide rises and enters Agats, many children play in the water in the afternoon. Uniquely, the local government enforces a rule that only native Asmat residents are allowed to fish in the sea.

“Fish seekers in the sea must not be immigrants, they must be natives, that is special,” said Asmat District Social Service Secretary Hengky Kawer. This was done in order to raise the economy of the indigenous people of the Asmat tribe in Agats.

Motorcycles have become the main mode of transportation in Agats. Many people doing activities rely on motorbikes. Uniquely, the motorbikes used are different from the motorbikes that are commonly used in many areas in Indonesia.

The motorbikes in Agats are mostly electric motorbikes. The electric motorcycle has no exhaust, and is quiet when used. The streets that tend to be small in Agats also make the district without four-wheeled vehicles. The only car in Agats is an ambulance which is used in an emergency. This is also the main attraction for the City of Papan.

“We have three (ambulances). If you look at the three, only electricity is gasoline, but for electricity, the maintenance is expensive,” said Regent Elisa Kambu.

Electric motorbikes are the main vehicle because they are considered more suitable and safe for the people and city of Agats. The streets used to make from wood planks in the past, as well as the buildings made of wood make petrol motorbikes considered more dangerous than electric motorbikes. A Head of the Asmat District Social Service Amir Makhmud also said that the streets in Agats are filled with small children and densely populated, so electric motorbikes are considered safer and less noisy.

“Because when you bring gasoline, it suddenly burns out (buildings and roads) run out. In the past, the road was a plank. For example, in Asmat Regency, it was only that much (the road) was 2 meters, it didn’t reach. One city along the Agats City road used that (board). ),” said Amir.

Being in the waters, fast boats or speedboats are also an alternative vehicle to get into Agats. In addition to being fish seekers, many local residents are speedboat drivers.

Moreover, access to the nearest airport, namely Ewer Airport to Agats, must also be reached by sea for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, it takes about 5 hours if you want to go to Agats by speedboat from Timika. Next to the pier there is usually a speedboat on standby. Speedboats can only be filled with a maximum of 5 passengers and 1 driver. One way to the airport in Ewer Village, Agats District, you have to pay around IDR 100,000.

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