Peeking at the Digul River Suspension Bridge, the Economic Basis of Iwur Papuans – The Kali Digul Suspension Bridge is the main access to Iwur District, Bintang Mountains Regency, Papua. No wonder the bridge made of rattan rope has become the economic lifeblood of the local community.

This is because people in Iwur District rely on the bridge as the main access to Oksibil, the capital of the Bintang Mountains. Moreover, Iwur District is an isolated area in the east.

This area is directly bordered by the Tarup District, one of the regions in the State of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Meanwhile, in the west, it is directly adjacent to Waropko District, Boven Digoel Regency.

Andi, a resident of Oksibil, Bintang Mountains, said that the residents of Iwur District feel dependent on the Kali Digul suspension bridge. Because, at this time the bridge is the main access.

Actually, Andi said the government plans to build a permanent bridge, but the building of a permanent bridge has temporarily stalled. “This is the upper part of the Digul River, and is included in the Trans Papua Road. It’s just that until now the permanent bridge has not continued its work, “said Andi

In addition to being the lifeblood of the Iwur District community, continued Andi, this bridge is also an access link for the Trans Papua Road that connects the Waropko District, Boven Digul Regency.

“There are still a few more rivers this big. If a number of bridges and roads have become automatic, the land route between Oksibil and Boven Digoel can be passed, but it may take a long time,” he said.

Andi said Iwur District could be said to be an isolated area. The distance from the Kali Digul Suspension Bridge to the Iwur District is 4 kilometers. While the road trip from Oksibil takes almost 2 hours.

According to Andi, the 2-hour journey only arrived in front of the Kali Digul Suspension Bridge. “After crossing the Suspension Bridge, we will take a motorcycle taxi again to Iwur (District). It costs IDR 50 thousand per head. The motorcycle taxis are children in Iwur District,” Andi explained with a faint smile.

Usually, people use ropes from the opposite direction to cross the staples. With such conditions, it is not surprising that the retail price of Pertalite type of Fuel Oil (BBM) in Iwur District reaches Rp. 50 thousand per liter.

“Earlier I had asked at the stall, retail fuel prices up to that much. I was surprised too, but I can understand that because of the difficult conditions in the area,” said Nikson, another resident.

This condition is not surprising to say that the price of fuel in the Iwur District is quite exorbitant. This is because, according to Andi, some Iwur residents buy fuel in Oksibil City at a cost that is not cheap.

“Let’s just calculate, from Oksibil City to the Suspension Bridge, we use a vehicle per person of IDR 100 thousand. Not to mention, from the suspension bridge to Iwur, take a motorcycle taxi for IDR 50 thousand. Vehicle for transportation alone already 150 thousand. So, it can be said that it is very reasonable if the price of fuel in Iwur is IDR 50 thousand per liter,” Andi said.

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