Turning on the lights in eastern Indonesia
As a city dweller in Indonesia, I am blessed with an abundance of privilege. I have 24/7 access to the most updated information, thanks to an internet that is powered by a constant electricity supply. Yet, for a large number of the Indonesian population, this is not the case. Looking at a nighttime satellite photograph of the entire Indonesia archipelago, there are absolutely no lights switched on throughout almost all of Eastern Indonesia, as if it were unpopulated. But we know people are living there.
So, how can we expect those ‘have-nots’ to aid in the development of their communities, without something as basic as electricity? This issue extends to other matters of systematic inequality within Indonesia. The poverty- energy trap is where the poorest members of society are least likely to have access to power, and without any access to power, they are more likely to remain in poverty. In Indonesia, 63% of of those living below the poverty line are in rural areas, where electricity access is few and far between.