While some areas Indonesia have seen great improvements to roads and other transportation infrastructure in recent years, other regions remain nearly inaccessible due to a lack of such development, making it extremely difficult for people living in those areas to get around, and, in this case, transport a dead body.
Recently, a video has gone viral showing residents of the remote Rampi Sub-district in the Luwu Utara Regency of South Sulawesi carrying a dead body on a stretcher for around 60 kilometers, traversing steep hills and rough terrain, as there is no road access to the deceased’s village and final resting place.
The journey reportedly took 18 hours. The deceased’s family decided on making the journey by foot because the only viable alternatives were using an ojek (motorcycle taxi), which would have cost millions of rupiah, or chartering a plane, which would have cost them IDR50 million (US$3,550).
Roy Pathibang, a Rampi resident who took the video, said this wasn’t the first time they had to carry a dead body this far. He said they have done this at least 10 times because of the limited access to and from their village.
He says Rampi residents are hoping the government, especially President Joko Widodo, will pay attention to them and build decent infrastructure to connect their area to others.
“We in Rampi haven’t really enjoyed [government] development, we sometimes say we’re ‘belum merdeka’ (not yet sovereign) because of the lack of attention from the government,” Roy said today, as quoted by Tribun.
“Pak president keeps on building highways in Java, but we also want to have our own roads, but no one cares about us,” Roy added.
President Jokowi has actually made infrastructure development one of the cornerstones of his presidency, as well as promising to continue his projects if he gets re-elected this year. Jokowi has splurged on infrastructure since taking office in 2014, with his administration having plans for of 222 infrastructure projects — not only in Java — and allocating billions of dollars of the state budget each year for that purpose.