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East Nusa Tenggara (Indonesian: Nusa Tenggara Timur – NTT) is the southernmost province of Indonesia. It comprises the eastern portion of the Lesser Sunda Islands, facing the Indian Ocean in the south and the Flores Sea in the north. It consists of more than 500 islands, with the largest ones being Sumba, Flores, and the western part of Timor; the latter shares a land border with the separate nation of East Timor. The province was sub-divided into 21 regencies and the regency-level city of Kupang, which is the capital and largest city.

A Christian-majority region, East Nusa Tenggara is the only Indonesian province where Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion. The province has a total area of 47,245.82 km2, and the population at the 2010 Census was 4,683,827; the latest official estimate in January 2014 was 5,070,746. Economically, East Nusa Tenggara still remains one of the least developed provinces in Indonesia. It currently focuses on expanding the tourism sector, with the most well-known attractions including Labuan Bajo, Komodo National Park, and Mount Kelimutu.

History


After the declaration of Indonesian independence in 1945, the eastern part of Indonesia declared the State of East Indonesia.[4] The state was further included in the United States of Indonesia as part of the agreement with the Dutch contained in the transfer of its sovereignty to Indonesia in 1949.

In 1950, United States of Indonesia dissolved itself into a unitary state and began to divide its component area into provinces. In 1958, by Indonesian law (Undang-Undang) No. 64/1958, three provinces were established in the Lesser Sunda Islands, namely Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.[5] The area of East Nusa Tenggara province included the western part of Timor island, Flores, Sumba and other several small islands in the region. The province was sub-divided into twelve regencies and the City of Kupang, which had regency-level status.[6]

Following the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998 and the passage of a new regional autonomy law, there was a dramatic proliferation (known as pemekaran) of regional governments across Indonesia (at both provincial and regency level). Several new regencies were created in East Nusa Tenggara by the division of existing regencies:

Therefore, as of early 2013, there were twenty-one regencies plus the one autonomous city (Kupang) in the province.

Geography


Located in the east of Lesser Sunda Islands, East Nusa Tenggara faces the Indian Ocean in the south and Flores Sea in the north. The province is bordered by other provinces, West Nusa Tenggara in the west. In the east, the province is bordered by East Timor and southern part of Maluku.

The province consists of about 566 islands, the largest and most dominant are Flores, Sumba, and the western part of Timor. The other is smaller islands include Adonara, Alor, Komodo, Lembata (formerly called Lomblen), Menipo, Raijua, Rincah, Rote Island (the southernmost island in Indonesia), Savu, Semau, and Solor. The highest point in the province is Mount Mutis in the South Central Timor Regency, 2,427 meters above sea level.[10]

Administrative divisions


The province is divided into twenty-one regencies and one independent city. These are listed below with their areas and their populations at the 2010 Census and at the latest (2014) estimates:[11]

Provincial Government


Below is a list of Governors who have held office in the East Nusa Tenggara.

Demographics


The population of the province was 4,679,316 in 2010,[13] but the most recent estimate was 5,070,746 (as at January 2014).

The secondary school enrolment rate of 39% is dramatically below the Indonesian average (80% in 2003/04, according to UNESCO). Lack of clean drinking water, sanitation, and health facilities mean that child malnutrition (32%) and child mortality (71 per 1000) are higher than in most of the rest of Indonesia.[14] Maternal and infant mortality are high partly because of poor access to health facilities in isolated rural areas.[15] Malaria is a significant problem in parts of the province with the result that the rate of infant mortality caused by malaria, in recent years, has been the highest across Indonesia.[16]

The major religion of East Nusa Tenggara are Christian, with 95.88 percent out of all population, (with Catholic as majority (60.14%), but with a large Protestant population (35.74%). NTT has the highest percentage of Christians than any other provinces in Indonesia, along with the highest Catholic percentage. Other religions practiced by the province's population are Islam with 4.05% , 0.11% Hindu, 0.01% Buddhist, and 0.4% holding traditional beliefs. East Nusa Tenggara has become a refuge for Indonesian Christians fleeing from conflict in Maluku and Irian Jaya.

Economy


By several economic indicators, the provincial economy is weaker than the Indonesian average with high inflation (15%), unemployment (30%) and interest rates (22-24%), making it one of the poorest provinces in Indonesia.

A main part of the economic activity in the province is subsistence agriculture. Important local crops include corn and some smallholder plantation crops such as coffee. In some places such as Sumba, the lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer) dominates local agricultural activities and is a very important part of the local economy.[18] In these areas, the lontar palm provides timber and thatching as well as food in the form of fruits, and palm sugar which is obtained by tapping the fruit stems. The sugary sap can be used to make alcoholic drinks. In other parts of the province such as West Manggarai, the sugar palm (Arenga pinnata) has a useful role in the local economy.[19] The degree of mechanisation in agriculture is low. Large animals (buffaloes, horses) are widely used throughout the province.[20]

A significant part of the economic activity in the province involves the development of natural resources, including forestry and numerous local mining ventures. Some of the activity is controversial, however, because regulatory controls over the use of natural resources are not always effective. There have been disputes in some areas over the use of land. Manganese mining, for example, in the central part of the island of Timor has been controversial.[21] Nearby, in the Mount Mutis area to the east of Kupang, amongst some local groups there is concern at the way local resources are being developed by mining companies.[22]

There is also significant activity in the informal mining sector. Across the province, villagers sometimes exploit localised opportunities to undertake unregulated mining or mineral-based projects. In West Timor, for example, in the South Central Timor Regency, villagers living near the south coast in the Kolbano area south of the town of Soe sometimes collect coloured stones which, in turn, are sold to companies which export the stones to countries such as Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and elsewhere.[23]

The cultivation of seaweed is an important activity in some parts of the province. In the Alor Islands, for example, village-based informal cultivation of seaweed helps boost local incomes. Much of the seaweed is exported in unprocessed form, including to countries such as Japan in north Asia. One view is that more needs to be done to encourage further domestic processing of the seaweed to add value before export; however the local skills and facilities for further processing are not well-developed and it is not clear that a program to encourage further processing would be successful.[25]

Levels of poverty in the province compared with other parts are Indonesia are relatively high. In 2010, 23% of the population were classified as poor (using very modest poverty lines of around $25 and $17 per person per month for urban and rural areas respectively) compared to the all-Indonesia average of 13.3%.[26] The numbers of street children in the province, for example, are relatively high.[27] Localised food shortages are common.[28] Around 50% of the children in the province suffer from stunting.[29] The challenges of promoting development and lifting living standards in a rather isolated area of Indonesia such as NTT are considerable. The main problems of development include the following:

  • Differences in living standards between urban and rural areas are large; rural poverty is widespread.[30]
  • Agriculture is underdeveloped with little use of modern technology or capital, and poor access to markets
  • Deforestation, which exacerbates problems of water management and access to water in the province[31]
  • Infrastructure in the province is underdeveloped. Roads are often poor, especially in rural areas. There is relatively little electricity throughout NTT; electricity use in 2010 was at the very low level of around 90 kWh per capita compared to the all-Indonesia rate of around 630 kWh (and often over 10,000 kWh per capita in the main OECD countries).
  • Access to water is a major problem. The province is dry for much of the year and in rural areas many of the villages must rely on unreliable and untreated local springs and other sources for water supplies.[32] The percentage of households relying on spring water was around 40% in 2010, the highest for any province in Indonesia and well above the all-Indonesia average of 14%.[33] Water shortages are thus a major local social and political issue in the province.[34]
  • Local education and medical facilities are poor and neglected. Although the numbers of schools and local medical clinics are adequate compared to other parts of Indonesia, the quality of services provided in these institutions is often poor. And in some areas, key facilities are absent; in mid-2014 it was reported that two districts (West Manggarai and East Manggarai) did not have general hospitals.[35]
  • Resources available to the provincial and regency governments are very limited so it is difficult for local governments to improve the supply of public services.

Tourism


The provincial government aims to promote tourism.[36] There are various interesting locations in the province.[37] The basic infrastructure to support the tourist sector (such as transport facilities, accommodation, and adequate and reliable information) needs to be strengthened but several main features of the tourist sector in the province include:[38]

In 2016 East Nusatenggara was awarded 6 medals from 10 categories listed in the Anugerah Pesona Indonesia 2016. These were:

  • Most popular surfing spot: Nemberala Beach, Rote Ndao Regency
  • Most popular cleanliness spot: Nihiwatu Beach, West Sumba Regency
  • Most popular of historical site of Ende: Bung Karno (Proclamator and the first Indonesia President) Site
  • Most popular diving site: Alor Island, Alor Regency
  • Most popular attraction: Pasola, Southwest Sumba Regency
  • Most popular highland area: three different color lakes/calderas at Mount Kelimutu, Ende.[40]

Various local community groups in the province work to promote the local tourist industry although, as yet, many of these activities are still somewhat underdeveloped and need strengthening.[41]

Well-known figures


Well-known figures from the province include the following:

See also


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