PT Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE), a subsidiary of PT Pertamina (Persero), which is engaged in the upstream oil and gas sector especially in offshore exploration and production activities, has developed a relationship with the Anak Dalam people to empower and enable the struggling tribe through its subsidiary PT Pertamina Hulu Energi Jambi Merang (PHE Jambi Merang). This collaboration was part of the company’s efforts to support and help groups marginalized by society.
The Anak Dalam Tribe has traditionally lived a migratory lifestyle, living off of the local forest and rivers, and then moving when resources dried out. However, the changing landscape of Indonesia, combined with the Tribe’s poor education and health standards, led the tribe to a state of social poverty. They sought to develop a permanent residence and improve itself but struggled to develop relationships with outsiders due to illiteracy within the tribe.
The Anak Dalam Tribe
PHE Jambi Merang first established contact with the tribe in 2016 to assess its needs. After gaining the tribe’s trust, PHE Jambi Merang began work focusing on improving the tribe’s health and education, economically empowering them, and helping them obtain legal citizenship. It was very important that PHE Jambi Merang helped improve the tribe’s standard of living, while respecting their values and culture.
PHE Jambi Merang partnered with a local non-governmental organization to help improve the tribe’s education. A floating school was built on a nearby river, so that the tribe can be educated without leaving their community. The tribe has developed literacy and the ability to count. Many of the children now have the option to continue their education at formal schools in nearby villages.
Health-wise, PHE Jambi Merang developed a clean water filtration system to make the toxic river water adjacent to the tribe safe for drinking. Midwives also now visit the tribe twice monthly to check on the tribe’s health. PHE Jambi Merang has also built “healthy housing” for tribe members containing toilets and washing machines. The former has helped decrease the contamination of water by fecal matter. Solar cells and communal solar stoves have also decreased the tribe’s operational costs and C02 emissions.
PHE Jambi Merang also helped the tribe to develop more sustainable and valuable industry. One of these is salted fish processing, which PHE Jambi Merang trained a group of women to do. The salted fish last longer and can be sold for more money than the raw fish. 32 hectares of land was also reserved for management by the tribe. The tribe was taught how to better use the land, and a farmers group was formed.
Besides these benefits, the partnership with PHE Jambi Merang has increased collaboration within the tribe and also with local villages. The tribe has also obtained legal citizenship. The work with the tribe has aligned with numerous UN sustainable development goals, such as quality education, clean water, no poverty, and affordable and clean energy. The work has also benefited PHE, PHE Jambi Merang and its stakeholders, who receive social benefits worth 3.49 rupiah for every 1 rupiah invested in the program.
PT Pertamina Hulu Energi at the award ceremony in 2019 Global Corporate Sustainability Forum