JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - The village received US$15,000 from telecommunications company PT Telkomsel’s corporate social responsibility programme to go fully digital.
Lamahu - a small village in Indonesia's Gorontalo province with a meagre population of 1,219 people - has become the first village to go digital in the province.
The idea was discussed when village head Hasan Hasiru, 31, expressed concern over darkness in some areas during the night because of a lack of street lighting. In the dark, young couples were often spotted engaging in inappropriate behavior, which raised concern among villagers.Together with the Elnino Center, a local community and human resource development institution, they came up with the idea of creating a digital village to the advantage of all the community.In December 2016, village officials, local youth organisation Karang Taruna and the Elnino Center started designing, searching for references, formulating concepts and seeking funding to realise the digital-village dream.They finally received 200 million rupiah (US$15,000) from telecommunications company PT Telkomsel’s corporate social responsibility programme. The local people also contributed money from their own pocket to support the programme.
“Some contributed money just to buy coffee for the meetings. Others participated by digging holes to accommodate new concrete structures,” chairman of the local Karang Taruna, Rahman Sulaeman, said.
The hard work has now resulted in 32 units of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed on street lamp poles. They use energy-saving LED bulbs that come with both light and movement sensors.
“The lights will automatically switch off during daylight and will automatically switch on in the evening when someone passes,” said Nur Syamsu Panna, director of Elniño Center who is also the designer of the Lamahu digital village.
Free internet access is also available for residents of the village. They can easily sign in using their ID cards numbers as passwords. The village also offers its residents Android-based multi-functional applications available from Google Play Store. Called the Lamahu Command Center, the application offers three facilities: alarms for security emergencies and for health emergencies and facilities to acquire various documents from the village hall.
Syamsu said the security alarm had been integrated with the village security personnel.
“For instance, if a fight or theft is committed, anyone witnessing just needs to tap the button and the message will reach village officials, security personnel and people within a radius of 500 meters from the scene,” he said.
The same applies to the health alarm. For the document-application facility, residents only need to pick up the hard copy of the documents at the village hall once they are approved.
As a survey revealed that only some 400 residents used Android-based smart phones while the rest used regular mobile phones, Lamahu village administration also provides short messaging service center applications for the facilities. While for residents without mobile phones, the administration has put speakers in front of their respective houses for the administration to announce any development in the village.
Elnino M Husein Mohi, the founder of the Elnino Center, called Lamahu a special digital village that combined technology developments and local wisdom, namely mutual cooperation.
The House of Representatives’ lawmaker said he wanted to make Lamahu a model for other digital villages in Gorontalo. “It’s no coincidence that Lamahu in the Gorontalo language means mutual cooperation,” he said.