Tembagapura, –a small, unique, and pretty town located at Mimika regency in Province of Papua, was built to support Freeport operation in the late-1960s. The town is a residence for more than 10 thousands people, consist of Freeport and contractor employees and their families. Only few people have a chance to live there.
Tembagapura means tembaga and pura. “Tembaga” means copper and “pura” is equivalent with temple or town, meaning a copper town. The town is surrounded by mountains, with height of 6,200 feet asl. By the height of elevation, Tembagapura is always covered by clouds, every day. Like a traveling destination, Tembagapura offers most beautiful untouchable rain forest, world mining company, and the Tembagapura’s culture. In Tembagapura, we’ll see many neat buildings and enjoy cold weather ranging 10 – 20 oC.
In Tembagapura, you will see a miniature of Indonesia, oh no, even a miniature of the world. Acehnese, Bataknese, Javanese, Manado, and Papuan mingle in the town. Not only Indonesian, there are many foreign national people coming from USA, Canada, Australia, Philipines, New Zealand, Chile, and more. Total more than 20 foreign nationals live there working to Freeport, Redpath, Trakindo, Metso, and other contractor companies. Indigenous people of Tembagapura are seven tribe people. Freeport employs some of them and develops 3 villages to better live. Religion in Tembagapura is dominated by Christian and Moslem; I don’t know exactly what the percentage of each. The most well known community in Tembagapura is AGUTE (Mountain Kids of Tembagapura). Every one who born, grows, and lives there is part of the community.
Well managed by Freeport, Tembagapura grows up to become a modern town with strict regulation. Each resident must have personal ID card issued by Freeport management. All data of residents are saved and controlled in database. By this way, no one out of Tembagapura could stay and enter the town. Formal visitor who wants to visit and enter Tembagapura should have visitor ID card. The ID card is really very important for each resident. The ID card can be used to enter access to supermarket, mess hall, and all check points in Freeport work area.
There are several types of housing, such as barrack (for single employees), sharing house, and family house. For all residents, Tembagapura has some facilities, such as hospital, supermarket, sport hall, bus transportation, fitness center, TV cable, radio, mosque, church, and more. Those facilities are governed by Pangansari Utama, Kuala Pelabuhan Indonesia, and some of Freeport business units. Anyhow, Tembagapura seems becoming one of the most clean, save, and low crime rate town in Indonesia. Located at remote area in the center of Jayawijaya mountains, only two ways to reach Timika,- a capital town of Mimika regency. The ways are road way (by bus and light vehicle) and air way (by chopper). It takes 3-4 hours to reach Timika, and only needs 15 minutes by chopper (helicopter).
Every one who ever lived, visited, and worked there will love the town, I guarantee. Me too, and I am happy to live here though I’ll leave it someday. Finally, Tembagapura is one of the most extraordinary towns I ever know.
Source of pictures: AGUTE facebook