Bringing Rural Fishing Communities Closer to Technology and Information
Indonesian rural coastal communities are often perceived as left behind on information and technology use and knowledge. One example is small scale tuna fishers in remote islands of Indonesia. Electricity is only available for six hours during the night and there is no land transportation access. It makes it challenging to share information and technology in this area. Most of the fishers’ time is spent at sea fishing than on land. As a result, fishers and coastal communities who depend on the sea for their livelihoods and food security are not always getting good knowledge of regulations for fisheries management and weather information for every fishing trip.
MDPI currently has an additional program to bridge rural coastal communities with information and technology named “Komputer Untuk Masyarakat Pesisir”. It is a free program to empower and facilitate fishers and the community to learn how to access information via internet and computer. This program started in July 2017 in five sites; Madapolo Village (South Halmahera), Salumpaga (Tolitoli), Seruni Mumbul (East Lombok), Waprea (Buru) and Yainuelo (Central Maluku). There are ~70 participants in this program, from fishers and coastal children.
For the program, the participants come to the MDPI office based on a schedule. The class not only takes place in MDPI office, but also in the open area like the beach. The duration of this activity is around 2-3 hours, starting by presentation about the history of computer, hardware-software, basic Microsoft word and how to get information through Google. Then one by one, the participants have a go at operating the computer. The participants are also given a basic computer manual as a reference.
‘Through “Komputer untuk Masyarakat Pesisir”, I can spend my time for a more useful thing, such as increase my knowledge and do homework’ said Musaffir a coastal children from Salumpaga-Tolitoli. In another place, Madopolo Pak Aswad, Fisher Association member stated “This program can help them (the fishermen) manage the administration in the Fisher Association”
In the next year, “Komputer untuk Masyarakat Pesisir” will continue with other materials and practice use of Excel, Powerpoint etc. Hopefully this program can bring the fishing community closer to the information and technology and build their capacity.
Writer : Putra Satria Timur