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Jakarta Post

Future, jobs, happiness: Eradicating poverty the Sawahlunto way

  • Syofiardi Bachyul Jb

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 22 2012   /  08:02 am

The Sawahlunto municipality’s achievement in transforming the city from a former coal mining town into a prime tourist city has become a major topic of discussion in West Sumatra, but its other great achievement has been less exposed, namely its success in eradicating poverty through concrete and continuous programs involving residents.

The programs have been successful in suppressing the poverty rate from 17.18 percent in 2005 to 2.41 percent in 2009, thus placing Sawahlunto as the second city, after Denpasar, with the lowest poverty rate in Indonesia.

In 2005, of the total 13,256 families 2,290 were listed as poor. In 2010, the municipality was able to suppress the number of underprivileged families from 15,015 to only 373 families.

“It is impossible to eradicate urban poverty, we are optimistic that the poverty rate can be curbed to as low as 2 percent,” Sa...